Nike, Adidas called on to clean up supply chain
Greenpeace continues to challenge big-time companies to clean up their supply chains.
Today, Greenpeace called on shoe and apparel giants Nike and Adidas to clean up their supply chains and remove toxic chemicals from their products on the heels of a year-long investigation into toxic water pollution in China.
Greenpeace’s “Dirty Laundry” report found toxic chemicals in samples of wastewater discharges at textile facilities that have links to Nike and Adidas.
“Greenpeace is challenging the clothing brands named in this report to eliminate releases of hazardous chemicals from their supply chain and products, and we are calling on trendsetting brands that have a major influence on their supply chains, such as Adidas and Nike, to take the lead”, Yifang Li, Greenpeace East Asia Toxic Campaigner, said.
The chemicals found included persistent and bioaccumulative hormone disruptors that could potentially impact humans and the environment.
“Our findings give a snapshot of the kind of toxic chemicals that are being released by the textile industry into waterways all over the world and are indicative of a much wider problem that is having serious, long-term and far-reaching consequences for people and wildlife,” Martin Hojsik, Coordinator of the Toxics Water campaign at Greenpeace International, said.
Hojsik would like Nike and Adidas (and the other companies named in the report) to add visibility into their supply chains so everyone knows exactly what goes into making each product.
“At the moment, none of the brands highlighted in the report have a complete overview of the chemicals being used and released in making their products,” Hojsik said. "The solution to this problem is the adoption of comprehensive chemicals management policies, which will enable these companies to systematically monitor, reduce and eliminate hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chain.”
Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas.
High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks
According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’.
Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months:
- SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack.
- Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors.
- Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration.
As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security.
Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version:
- NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
- Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state.
If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed.
How Do The Proposals Differ?
As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’.