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PTP was originally designed for networks in which all devices were ultimately trusted. In version 1, no security mechanism was present, and version 2 only provided an experimental mechanism. However, with version 2.1 of the PTP standard (IEEE 1588-2019) there is now a normative security mechanism in section 16.14.
The internet has a hole at the bottom of its trust stack, and we need to do something about it. In particular, the internet needs secure time synchronization to fortify the security of our digital world. In this article, we present a path towards the adoption of securely synchronized time.
Messing around with people's clocks can be a great source of practical jokes. Even nowadays, with many people getting their time digitally, this is not as impossible as you might think. (And the month of April, with the switch to summer time and April Fool's Day, provided the perfect timing for this experiment, of course...)
In Dutch we have a saying 'meten is weten', which translates to 'to measure is to know'. That sentiment is frequently overlooked in setting up computers and networks.
At Tweede golf, we are working on modern implementations of time synchronization protocols in Project Pendulum. The ntpd-rs project is part of it, and we've recently implementend the draft specification of NTPv5, for which we built a test server at IETF 118. This blogs covers the what, why and how (including a 'how to run').
I was invited by OCP-TAP to join them in their 87th Project Call to talk about Pendulum, our Rust implementations of NTP and PTP. The recording of this call on 8 Nov 2023 is now available.
About one year ago, Tweede Golf announced "Statime", a Rust implementation of the Precision Time Protocol (PTP). The result of that first phase was a working proof of concept. Quite a bit has changed since then.
Sovereign Tech Fund will support our effort to build modern and memory-safe implementations of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and the Precision Time Protocol (PTP).
The latest release of ntpd-rs compiles on several new targets: the FreeBSD and macOS operating systems now work, and ntpd-rs now supports musl libc on Linux. The PRs adding support for these platforms are all community contributions, which is very exciting.
In March/April 2023 ntpd-rs underwent a security audit. The audit was executed by Radically Open Security and funded by NLnet Foundation. The audit did not uncover any major issues, but did help us make ntpd-rs more robust. It has been extremely valuable to have someone from outside of the development team look at the code in detail.
At RustNL 2023, a Rust conference held in Amsterdam recently, I had the opportunity to talk about ntpd-rs, our project implementing the Network Time Protocol.

This article is an adaptation of the original, published by Prossimo.

We're happy to announce that the Internet Security Research Group has officially made us the maintainers of the open-source memory-safe implementation of NTP, ntpd-rs. As such, we are now also looking for early adopters.

The implementation includes a server and client, as well as full support for Network Time Security (NTS), which brings encryption and greater integrity to time synchronization. Timing is precise and stable, as reflected by excellent performance in the NTP pool.

For the last couple of months we at Tweede golf have been working on implementing a Network Time Protocol (NTP) client and server in Rust.

The project is a Prossimo initiative and is supported by their sponsors, Cisco and AWS. Our first short-term goal is to deploy our implementation at Let's Encrypt. The long-term goal is to develop an alternative fully-featured NTP implementation that can be widely used.

For the last couple of months, we've been working on a Rust implementation of the Precision Time Protocol called Statime ("statim" is Latin for immediately), and we're proud to announce the completion of the first phase of the project.