February 23, 2024

A Software program Invoice of Supplies (SBOM) is getting increasingly essential within the software program provide chain. On this weblog, you’ll study what an SBOM is and the best way to construct the SBOM in an automatic means. Get pleasure from!

1. Introduction

An SBOM is a listing of software program parts that makes up a software program product. This manner, it turns into clear which software program libraries, parts, and many others., and their variations are used within the software program product. As a consequence, it is possible for you to to react extra adequately when a safety vulnerability is reported. You solely must verify the SBOMs for the weak library, and you’ll know instantly which functions are impacted by the vulnerability. The SBOM of a library or utility you need to use can even aid you in your decision-making. It can develop into extra frequent floor that software program suppliers shall be compelled to ship an up-to-date SBOM with every software program supply. Primarily based on this info, you may make a danger evaluation of whether or not you need to use the library or utility.

If you find yourself a software program provider, it is advisable to make sure that you ship an SBOM with every software program launch. This truly implies that it is advisable to create the SBOM in an automatic means, ideally in your construct pipeline. As written earlier than, the SBOM may also help you to verify whether or not a library utilized in your utility accommodates safety vulnerabilities. With the correct tooling, this verify may be executed in an automatic means in your construct pipeline. When safety vulnerabilities are discovered, you’ll be able to fail the construct pipeline. One in all these instruments is grype, which may take an SBOM as enter and verify whether or not any parts are used with identified safety vulnerabilities. In a previous post, it’s defined how grype can be utilized. Within the put up, a Docker picture is enter to grype, however it’s even higher to create an SBOM first after which present it to grype. Tips on how to create the SBOM shall be defined on this put up.

Whenever you begin studying about SBOMs, you’ll discover that two requirements are generally used:

  • CycloneDX: an open-source mission originated inside the OWASP neighborhood;
  • SPDX (The Software program Package deal Information Trade): a global open normal format, additionally open supply and hosted by the Linux basis.

So, which normal to make use of? It is a tough query to reply. Typically, it’s acknowledged that each requirements will live on subsequent to one another, and instruments are suggested to help each requirements. SPDX is initially arrange for license administration, whereas CycloneDX had its major deal with safety. Studying a number of sources, the popular format is CycloneDX when your focus is ready on safety. Fascinating reads are SBOM formats SPDX and CycloneDX compared and the publication Using the Software Bill of Materials for Enhancing Cybersecurity from the Nationwide Cyber Safety Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Safety of the Netherlands. The latter is a must-read.

Within the the rest of this weblog, you’ll discover ways to use syft for constructing an SBOM. Syft can be a product of Anchore, similar to grype is, and subsequently integrates properly with grype, the vulnerability scanning software. Syft helps many ecosystems and has a number of export codecs. It undoubtedly helps CycloneDX and SPDX. CycloneDX additionally has instruments for constructing SBOMs, however Syft is one software that helps many ecosystems, which is a bonus in comparison with a number of instruments.

Sources getting used on this put up can be found at GitHub.

2. Conditions

The conditions wanted for this weblog are:

  • Fundamental Linux data;
  • Fundamental Java data;
  • Fundamental JavaScript data;
  • Fundamental Spring Boot data.

3. Software Below Take a look at

Earlier than persevering with, you want an utility to construct the SBOM. It is a primary utility that consists of a Spring Boot backend and a Vue.js frontend. The applying may be constructed with Maven and accommodates two Maven modules, one for the backend and one for the entrance finish. Extra details about the setup may be learn in a previous post. It is vital, nevertheless, to construct the applying first. This may be executed with the next command:

4. Set up

Set up of syft may be executed by executing the next script:

$ curl -sSfL https://uncooked.githubusercontent.com/anchore/syft/principal/set up.sh | sudo sh -s -- -b /usr/native/bin

Confirm the set up by executing the next command:

$ syft --version
syft 0.64.0

5. Construct Backend SBOM

Navigate to the backend listing and execute the next command:

$ syft dir:. --exclude ./**/sbom.*.json --output cyclonedx-json=sbom.cyclonedx.build-complete-dir.json

The parameters will do the next:

  • dir:.: Scan the whole listing to be able to discover dependencies;
  • –exclude: Exclude already current SBOM information since you need to generate the SBOM file each time anew based mostly on the present state of the repository;
  • –output: Right here, you outline the output format to make use of, and also you outline the file identify of the SBOM file.

The SBOM file sbom.cyclonedx.build-complete-dir.json is created within the backend listing. Take a more in-depth take a look at the SBOM format.

  "bomFormat": "CycloneDX",
  "specVersion": "1.4",
  "serialNumber": "urn:uuid:afbe7b48-b376-40fb-a0d4-6a16fda38a0f",
  "model": 1,
    "timestamp": "2023-01-14T16:35:35+01:00",
    "instruments": [
        "vendor": "anchore",
        "name": "syft",
        "version": "0.64.0"
      "bom-ref": "af63bd4c8601b7f1",
      "kind": "file",
      "identify": "."
  "parts": [

The highest half consists of metadata: the format of the SBOM, variations used, which software is getting used, and many others. The part half consists of a listing of all of the parts syft has discovered. The entire specification of CycloneDX may be discovered here.

The part checklist is the next and corresponds to the checklist of libraries that may be discovered within the goal/backend-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar file. The libraries are situated within the listing /BOOT-INF/lib/ within the jar file (the jar file is only a zip file and may be opened with any archive software).


Now take a more in-depth take a look at the jackson-annotations part within the SBOM file. Within the properties part, you’ll be able to see that this part has a property syft:bundle:foundBy with the worth java-cataloger. Which means that this part was discovered within the jar file.

      "bom-ref": "pkg:maven/com.fasterxml.jackson.core/[email protected]?package-id=9cdc3a1e17ebbb68",
      "kind": "library",
      "group": "com.fasterxml.jackson.core",
      "identify": "jackson-annotations",
      "model": "2.14.1",
      "cpe": "cpe:2.3:a:jackson-annotations:jackson-annotations:2.14.1:*:*:*:*:*:*:*",
      "purl": "pkg:maven/com.fasterxml.jackson.core/[email protected]",
      "externalReferences": [
          "url": "",
          "hashes": [
              "alg": "SHA-1",
              "content": "2a6ad504d591a7903ffdec76b5b7252819a2d162"
          "kind": "build-meta"
      "properties": [
          "name": "syft:package:foundBy",
          "value": "java-cataloger"
          "name": "syft:package:language",
          "value": "java"
          "name": "syft:package:metadataType",
          "value": "JavaMetadata"
          "name": "syft:package:type",
          "value": "java-archive"

Whenever you check out part spring-boot-starter-web, it mentions that this part was discovered by java-pom-cataloger. Which means that this part was discovered within the pom file.

That is fairly fascinating as a result of this may imply that syft can’t discover transitive dependencies based mostly on the sources solely. Execute the next command the place the goal listing is excluded from the evaluation.

$ syft dir:. --exclude ./**/sbom.*.json --exclude ./**/goal --output cyclonedx-json=sbom.cyclonedx.build-sources.json

The consequence may be discovered within the file sbom.cyclonedx.build-sources.json and the beforehand made assumption appears to be proper. Solely the spring-boot-starter-web and spring-boot-starter-test dependencies are discovered. That is, in any case, not a giant challenge, however you will have to pay attention to this.

6. Construct Frontend SBOM

Navigate to the frontend listing and execute the next command:

$ syft dir:. --exclude ./**/sbom.*.json --output cyclonedx-json=sbom.cyclonedx.build-complete-dir.json

This evaluation takes a bit longer than the backend evaluation, however after a number of seconds, the sbom.cyclonedx.build-complete-dir.json file is created. Once more, comparable info may be discovered within the SBOM. The data is now accessible from the javascript-lock-cataloger. Which means that it originates from the package-lock.json file.

One other distinction is that the parts additionally comprise license info.

"parts": [
      "bom-ref": "pkg:npm/%40babel/[email protected]?package-id=ca6a526d8a318088",
      "type": "library",
      "name": "@babel/parser",
      "version": "7.20.7",
      "licenses": [
            "id": "MIT"

License info is included and can be utilized to verify concerning allowed firm insurance policies. This info is, nevertheless, not but accessible for Java packages.

7. Conclusion

SBOMs will develop into increasingly essential within the software program growth lifecycle. Increasingly more clients will demand an SBOM, and subsequently you will need to robotically generate the SBOM. Syft may also help you with that. In addition to that, the SBOM may be fed to grype to be able to carry out a safety vulnerability evaluation.