Identifying MySQL SSL communication using ngrep

Prior to MySQL 5.7 client communications with a MySQL instance were unencrypted by default. This plaintext capability allowed for various tools including pt-query-digest to analyze TCP/IP traffic. Starting with MySQL 5.7 SSL is enabled by default and will be used in client communications if SSL is detected on the server.

We can detect and confirm this easily with the ngrep command.

Default client connection traffic (5.6)

On a MySQL 5.6 server we monitor the default MySQL port traffic.

mysql56$ sudo ngrep -d eth1 -wi -P ' ' -W single -l port 3306
interface: eth1 (192.168.42.0/255.255.255.0)
filter: ( port 3306 ) and ((ip || ip6) || (vlan && (ip || ip6)))
...

We connect to this server using TCP/IP.

host$ mysql -uexternal -p -h192.168.42.16
mysql56> select 'unencrypted';

We can observe the communication to and from the server (in this example 192.168.42.16) is plaintext.

...
#
T 192.168.42.1:47634 -> 192.168.42.16:3306 [AP]      select 'unencrypted'
#
T 192.168.42.16:3306 -> 192.168.42.1:47634 [AP]      !    def    unencrypted  ! !                       unencrypted
#

SSL System Variables (5.6 default)

A default 5.6 installation does not have SSL enabled as verified by system variables.

mysql56 >SHOW  VARIABLES  LIKE '%ssl%';
+---------------+----------+
| Variable_name | Value    |
+---------------+----------+
| have_openssl  | DISABLED |
| have_ssl      | DISABLED |
| ssl_ca        |          |
| ssl_capath    |          |
| ssl_cert      |          |
| ssl_cipher    |          |
| ssl_crl       |          |
| ssl_crlpath   |          |
| ssl_key       |          |
+---------------+----------+
9 rows in set (0.02 sec)

Default client connection traffic (5.7)

Running the same example client connection with MySQL 5.7 you will observe that communications to and from the server (in this example 192.168.42.17) are not in plaintext.

mysql57$ sudo ngrep -d eth1 -wi -P ' ' -W single -l port 3306
interface: eth1 (192.168.42.0/255.255.255.0)
filter: ( port 3306 ) and ((ip || ip6) || (vlan && (ip || ip6)))

host$ mysql -uexternal -p -h192.168.42.17
mysql57> select 'encrypted';


T 192.168.42.1:36781 -> 192.168.42.17:3306 [AP]     @    F   l   d iVr  H   b ^    s t Z      ( 2d   " ?  |   )
#
T 192.168.42.17:3306 -> 192.168.42.1:36781 [AP]     p%  s`   3u5!%P]   v=  r # x   E   a y  '!    )Z    8   Js  z.  \t   (r H@     0 2 5k\    <   M  @)E& b q|q@    h

SSL System Variables (5.7 default)

A new MySQL 5.7 installation will have SSL enabled by default as seen in the MySQL variables.

mysql57 > SHOW GLOBAL VARIABLES LIKE '%ssl%';
+---------------+-----------------+
| Variable_name | Value           |
+---------------+-----------------+
| have_openssl  | YES             |
| have_ssl      | YES             |
| ssl_ca        | ca.pem          |
| ssl_capath    |                 |
| ssl_cert      | server-cert.pem |
| ssl_cipher    |                 |
| ssl_crl       |                 |
| ssl_crlpath   |                 |
| ssl_key       | server-key.pem  |
+---------------+-----------------+
9 rows in set (0.00 sec)

-no-ssl Client connection traffic (5.7)

If you want to emulate the unencrypted nature of MySQL 5.6 within any SSL enabled MySQL version (e.g. MySQL 5.7) you specify the --ssl option for mysql client connections. In MySQL 5.7 this option is also deprecated and --ssl-mode=disabled should be used>.

host$ > mysql -uexternal -p -h192.168.42.17 --ssl=0

host >select '-ssl=0 unencrypted';

T 192.168.42.1:36785 -> 192.168.42.17:3306 [AP]      select '-ssl=0 unencrypted'
#
T 192.168.42.17:3306 -> 192.168.42.1:36785 [AP]      '    def    -ssl=0 unencrypted  ! 3              -ssl=0 unencrypted

References

https://wiki.christophchamp.com/index.php?title=Ngrep
http://infoheap.com/ngrep-quick-start-guide/
Encrypted Connections - MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual
Implementing MySQL Security Features - Tutorial at Percona Live Europe 2017.

Disabling the temporary authorization token in devstack keystone

While building my own OpenStack cloud on physical servers I realized that Keystone uses a temporary authorization token in the Create the service entity and API endpoint and Create projects, users, and roles steps.

The Verify operation step makes reference to removing this mechanism however my current devstack installations have not done this.

To verify this I use the SERVICE_TOKEN as defined in my devstack/local.conf and the Keystone Admin URL.

$ openstack --os-token=aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee --os-url=http://controller:35357/v2.0 user list
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| ID                               | Name                             |
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| 554209509f5b47e286e0379bcbf66762 | admin                            |
| 59ac0457a80d449c9dac3b66848f2b5b | demo                             |
| 8aab962698f9460692efb8d3aab35886 | verify_tempest_config-1304647972 |
| 8b602467cd9045888687987067cbd3f6 | alt_demo                         |
| a134c3b33e94475fb5398643dd816053 | glance                           |
| c68c68579ec0437094a14dfbc4728224 | cinder                           |
| e65bd34ca85a429ea5c56bf980f77d67 | nova                             |
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+

Removing the configuration settings as documented from /etc/keystone/keystone-paste.ini as documented DOES NOT disable this level of access.

NOTE: This edit removes the admin_token_auth option from the pipeline setting in the [pipeline:public_api], [pipeline:admin_api] and [pipeline:api_v3] sections.

$ sudo sed -ie "s/ admin_token_auth / /" /etc/keystone/keystone-paste.ini
$ openstack --os-token=aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee --os-url=http://controller:35357/v2.0 user list
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| ID                               | Name                             |
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| 554209509f5b47e286e0379bcbf66762 | admin                            |
| 59ac0457a80d449c9dac3b66848f2b5b | demo                             |
| 8aab962698f9460692efb8d3aab35886 | verify_tempest_config-1304647972 |
| 8b602467cd9045888687987067cbd3f6 | alt_demo                         |
| a134c3b33e94475fb5398643dd816053 | glance                           |
| c68c68579ec0437094a14dfbc4728224 | cinder                           |
| e65bd34ca85a429ea5c56bf980f77d67 | nova                             |
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+

An additional (and not presently documented step) of restarting apache is needed to invalidate this access.

$ sudo service apache2 restart
$ openstack --os-token=aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee --os-url=http://controller:35357/v2.0 user list
ERROR: openstack Could not find token: aaaaaaaa-bbbb-cccc-dddd-eeeeeeeeeeee (Disable debug mode to suppress these details.) (HTTP 401) (Request-ID: req-617961b7-012a-4d61-bdfb-aa738b8f788f)

The results for the command as shown can be produced by using the user/password credentials with the Keystone public URL.

$ openstack --os-username=admin --os-password=passwd --os-project-name=admin --os-auth-url=http://localhost:5000/ user list
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| ID                               | Name                             |
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+
| 554209509f5b47e286e0379bcbf66762 | admin                            |
| 59ac0457a80d449c9dac3b66848f2b5b | demo                             |
| 8aab962698f9460692efb8d3aab35886 | verify_tempest_config-1304647972 |
| 8b602467cd9045888687987067cbd3f6 | alt_demo                         |
| a134c3b33e94475fb5398643dd816053 | glance                           |
| c68c68579ec0437094a14dfbc4728224 | cinder                           |
| e65bd34ca85a429ea5c56bf980f77d67 | nova                             |
+----------------------------------+----------------------------------+

Improved Security with MySQL 5.6

Installed on a clean CentOS 6.4 AWS instance.

sudo su -
cd /tmp
wget http://cdn.mysql.com/Downloads/MySQL-5.6/MySQL-5.6.13-1.el6.x86_64.rpm-bundle.tar
tar xvf MySQL-5.6.13-1.el6.x86_64.rpm-bundle.tar
yum install -y libaio perl
rpm -i MySQL*.rpm

The following output is the sign that security is being considered with new MySQL versions. Woot!

A RANDOM PASSWORD HAS BEEN SET FOR THE MySQL root USER !
You will find that password in '/root/.mysql_secret'.

You must change that password on your first connect,
no other statement but 'SET PASSWORD' will be accepted.
See the manual for the semantics of the 'password expired' flag.

Also, the account for the anonymous user has been removed.

In addition, you can run:

  /usr/bin/mysql_secure_installation

which will also give you the option of removing the test database.
This is strongly recommended for production servers.

See the manual for more instructions.

Please report any problems with the /usr/bin/mysqlbug script!

The latest information about MySQL is available on the web at

http://www.mysql.com

Support MySQL by buying support/licenses at http://shop.mysql.com

New default config file was created as /usr/my.cnf and
will be used by default by the server when you start it.
You may edit this file to change server settings

However, moving the MySQL configuration to /usr. WTF?

MySQL client password security

In case you missed it, MySQL 5.6.6, also known as Milestone 9, was recently released. I have yet to install this, however just one part of the MySQL 5.6.6 Release Notes makes placing installing and testing high on my TODO list.

Updated 20 Sep, 2012. Be sure to also read Todd’s post Understanding mysql_config_editor’s security aspects about a more in-depth and accurate description of this new feature. In summary, “It makes secure access via MySQL client applications easier to use”.

That is the reported improvements in password management. From the release notes:

Security Improvements

These security improvements were implemented:

MySQL now provides a method for storing authentication credentials securely in an option file named .mylogin.cnf. To create the file, use the mysql_config_editor utility. The file can be read later by MySQL client programs to obtain authentication credentials for connecting to a MySQL server. mysql_config_editor writes the .mylogin.cnf file using encryption so the credentials are not stored as clear text, and its contents when decrypted by client programs are used only in memory. In this way, passwords can be stored in a file in non-cleartext format and used later without ever needing to be exposed on the command line or in an environment variable. This improves security for interactive use of MySQL client programs, as well as security for noninteractive tasks that require a MySQL password from a file. For more information, see Section 4.6.6, “mysql_config_editor — MySQL Configuration Utility”.

The .mylogin.cnf file can contain multiple sets of options, known as “login paths.” To specify which option group to use from the .mylogin.cnf file for connecting to the server, use the –login-path option. See Section 4.2.3.4, “Command-Line Options that Affect Option-File Handling”.

There are additional improvements and modifications around encryption. Well worth reading about in MySQL 5.6.6 Release Notes.

Encrypting your MySQL backups and more

Assuming you have a backup and recovery strategy in place, how secure is your data? Does a hacker need to obtain access to your production system bypassing all the appropriate security protection you have in place, or just the unencrypted data on the backup server?

Encryption with zNcrypt

The following steps demonstrate how I setup a mysqldump encrypted backup with zNcrypt, a product from Gazzang. You can request a free trial evaluation of the software from http://gazzang.com/request-a-trial. I asked for a AWS EC2 instance, and was able to provide my bootstrap instructions for OS and MySQL installation. Following installation and configuration, the first step is to verify the zNcrypt process is running:

$ sudo ezncrypt-service status
  ezncrypt | Checking system dependencies
** ezncrypt system is UP and running **
       log | File: /var/log/ezncrypt/ezncrypt-service.log

If the process is not running you would find the following error message:

$ sudo ezncrypt-service status
  ezncrypt | Checking system dependencies
** ezncrypt system is NOT running **
       log | File: /var/log/ezncrypt/ezncrypt-service.log

$ sudo ezncrypt-service start
  ezncrypt | Checking system dependencies
  ezncrypt | checking encryption directories
    keymgr | Retrieving key from KSS
           |  > Encryption password retrieved from KSS
  ezncrypt | starting service
           |  > using "aes_256" cipher algorithm
           | done!
    access | Loading access control list
           | done!
  ezncrypt | Thank you for using ezncrypt.
       log | File: /var/log/ezncrypt/ezncrypt-service.log

Under the covers you will find the following attached devices, and no actual processes.

$ df -h
Filesystem ...
...
/var/lib/ezncrypt/storage/encrypted_private
/var/lib/ezncrypt/ezncrypted

$ ps -ef | grep ezn
uid  4947  3327  0 23:15 pts/3    00:00:00 grep ezn

$ ps -ef | grep cry
root        30     2  0 21:41 ?        00:00:00 [ecryptfs-kthrea]
root        31     2  0 21:41 ?        00:00:00 [crypto]
uid  4951  3327  0 23:15 pts/3    00:00:00 grep cry

The first step is to create a backup directory and encrypt all contents that are placed in the directory. ezNcrypt uses the concept of an @category for reference with an encrypted file or directory.

$ mkdir /mysql/backup/encrypted
$ sudo ezncrypt --encrypt @backup /mysql/backup/encrypted
  ezncrypt | Checking system dependencies
           | Verifying ezncrypt license
           | getting information about location
           |   > path: /var/lib/ezncrypt/ezncrypted/backup
  ezncrypt | Checking encryption status
           | done!
    keymgr | Retrieving key from KSS
           |  > Encryption password retrieved from KSS
           | generating keys
           | done!
    backup | backing up data
           | This can take a while. Please be patient
           |  > backing up /mysql/backup/encrypted
           |  > File: /opt/ezncrypt/backup/2012-04-27/encrypted.tar.gz
           | done!
  ezncrypt | encrypting files
           |  > checking disk space
           |  > encrypting /mysql/backup/encrypted
           | done!
  ezncrypt | congratulations. you have encrypted your Files!!
       log | File: /var/log/ezncrypt/ezncrypt.log

The underlying regular directory is now replaced:

$ ls -l /mysql/backup
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 59 2012-04-27 00:03 encrypted -> /var/lib/ezncrypt/ezncrypted/backup//mysql/backup/encrypted

Any attempts to write to this encrypted directory will now fail, even with the Linux super user:

$ mysqldump --all-databases > /mysql/backup/encrypted/edump1.sql
-bash: /mysql/backup/encrypted/edump1.sql: Permission denied

$ sudo mysqldump --all-databases > /mysql/backup/encrypted/edump1.sql
-bash: /mysql/backup/encrypted/edump1.sql: Permission denied

In order to read and write from an encrypted directory you need to grant access controls to a given program, for example mysqldump:

$ sudo ezncrypt-access-control -a "ALLOW @backup * /usr/bin/mysqldump"
passphrase:
salt:
Rule added

You verify the defined access control rules with:

$ sudo ezncrypt-access-control -L
passphrase:
salt:
# -  Type     Category       Path    Process
1    ALLOW    @backup        *       /usr/bin/mysqldump

However, writing with mysqldump still causes an error because it is the shell redirection that is performing the writing, as seen in the system error log:

$ mysqldump --all-databases > /mysql/backup/encrypted/edump1.sql
-bash: /mysql/backup/encrypted/edump1.sql: Permission denied
$ dmesg | tail
[4138848.618559] ezncryptfs: DENIED type="acl" exec="/bin/bash" script="/dev/pts/4" comm="bash" path="/var/lib/ezncrypt/ezncrypted/backup" pid=7448 uid=1000

You can use the –result-file option with mysqldump to enable the process to create the file directly. For example:

$ time mysqldump --all-databases   --result-file=/mysql/backup/encrypted/edump2.sql
real      1m34.714s
user      0m59.388s
sys       0m9.589s

$ sudo ezncrypt-run "ls -l /mysql/backup/encrypted/"
passphrase:
salt:
total 3.0G
-rw-rw-r-- 1 uid gid 2.9G 2012-04-27 02:43 edump2.sql

In this single test, the transparent encryption added only a very nominal overhead to the mysqldump test backup used. You can easily extract the file from the encrypted directory, however that would defeat the purpose of using encryption. The following syntax is shown just to confirm the validity of the encrypted file:

$ sudo /usr/sbin/ezncrypt-run "cp /mysql/backup/encrypted/edump2.sql ."
passphrase:
salt:
$ ls –al edump*
total 3916
-rw-r--r-- 1 uid gid 2.9G 2012-04-27 02:55 edump2.sql


$ grep "^CREATE.*DATABASE" edump2.sql
CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ `book2` /*!40100 DEFAULT CHARACTER SET latin1 */;
CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ `employees` ...
CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ `musicbrainz` ...
CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ `mysql` ...
CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ `sakila` ...
CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ `world_innodb` ...
CREATE DATABASE /*!32312 IF NOT EXISTS*/ `world_myisam` ...

When using correctly configured directories and access controls, the use is truly transparent to the backup process.

Restoring an encrypted file is a little more involved. The best approach is to create a script to perform the work, than encrypt this script. When executed, this script will have the permissions necessary to read and apply the encrypted file.

Perhaps the best tip about using this type of transparent encryption is that it is possible to encrypt the MySQL user and password securely in a plain text configuration file and used with appropriate MySQL client commands. This helps to address another common security problem.

MySQL Security Essentials Presentation

Today at the RMOUG Training Days 2012 event I gave an introduction presentation on MySQL Security Essentials covering the following topics:

  • MySQL Security defaults
  • MySQL Security Improvements
  • OS Security
  • User Privileges
  • Data Integrity
  • Installation Practices
  • Auditing Options
  • Better Security
  • Further References

Download slides for MySQL Security Essentials.

Do you use PHPMyAdmin?

If so then were is it installed on your publicly accessible website. If the location is where the documentation states not to put it, or in other popular locations then you can easily become open to an attack. The following are apache logs of a simple hacker test to find a potential security hole on a new IP public address for a client.

My advice is never have PHPMyAdmin accessible by default. You should use HTTP authentication, firewall rules and additional security practices all to protect any level of access to your data.

78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:24 -0500] "GET //phpmyadmin/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:24 -0500] "GET //phpMyAdmin/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:24 -0500] "GET //pma/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:24 -0500] "GET //dbadmin/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:25 -0500] "GET //myadmin/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:25 -0500] "GET //phppgadmin/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:26 -0500] "GET //PMA/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:26 -0500] "GET //admin/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"
78.111.81.180 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:29:26 -0500] "GET //MyAdmin/ HTTP/1.1" 401 290 "-" "Made by ZmEu @ WhiteHat Team - www.whitehat.ro"

If you are an administrator, 78.111.81.180 should be added to your blacklist permanently.
I should also state I do not use PHPMyAdmin on public servers, and also note the 401 response.

Best Practices: Additional User Security

By default MySQL allows you to create user accounts and privileges with no password. In my earlier MySQL Best Practices: User Security I describe how to address the default installation empty passwords.

For new user accounts, you can improve this default behavior using the SQL_MODE variable, with a value of NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER. As detailed via the 5.1 Reference Manual

NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER

Prevent the GRANT statement from automatically creating new users if it would otherwise do so, unless a nonempty password also is specified.

Having set this variable I attempted to show the error of operation to demonstrate in my upcoming “MySQL Idiosyncrasies that bite” presentation.

Confirm Settings

mysql> show global variables like 'sql_mode';
+---------------+---------------------+
| Variable_name | Value               |
+---------------+---------------------+
| sql_mode      | NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER |
+---------------+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> show session variables like 'sql_mode';
+---------------+---------------------+
| Variable_name | Value               |
+---------------+---------------------+
| sql_mode      | NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER |
+---------------+---------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

Create error condition

mysql> CREATE USER superuser@localhost;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> GRANT ALL ON *.* TO superuser@localhost;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> exit

What the? Surely this isn’t right.

$ mysql -usuperuser

mysql> SHOW GRANTS;
+--------------------------------------------------------+
| Grants for superuser@localhost                         |
+--------------------------------------------------------+
| GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'superuser'@'localhost' |
+--------------------------------------------------------+

mysql> SELECT VERSION();
+-----------+
| VERSION() |
+-----------+
| 5.1.39    |
+-----------+

Well that’s broken functionality.

What should happen as described in Bug #43938 is a cryptic message as reproduced below.

mysql> GRANT SELECT ON foo.* TO 'geert12'@'localhost';
ERROR 1133 (42000): Can't find any matching row in the user table
mysql> GRANT SELECT ON *.* TO geert12@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'foobar';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

It seems however that the user of CREATE USER first nullifies this expected behavior, hence new Bug #54208.

MySQL Best Practices: User Security

It is critical that you do not use the default MySQL installation security, it’s simply insecure.

Default Installation

When installed, MySQL enables any user with physical permissions to the server to connect to the MySQL via unauthenticated users. MySQL also provides complete access to all super user privileges via the ‘root’ user with no default password.

$ mysql -uroot
mysql> SELECT host,user,password FROM mysql.user;
+--------------+------+-------------------------------------------+
| host         | user | password                                  |
+--------------+------+-------------------------------------------+
| localhost    | root |                                           |
| server.local | root |                                           |
| 127.0.0.1    | root |                                           |
| localhost    |      |                                           |
| server.local |      |                                           |
+--------------+------+-------------------------------------------+

What you see here are two types of users.

  • The ‘root’ user which has MySQL super user privileges for your server or ‘localhost’ connections with no password.
  • Unauthenticated users indicated by the blank ‘user’ column

The absolute minimum you should do, is run the provided optional command for immediate improvements mysql_secure_installation. When running this command, you’re prompted for the following
options — the output has been trimmed for presentations purposes.

$ mysql_secure_installation
Enter current password for root (enter for none):
Set root password? [Y/n] y
New password:
Re-enter new password:
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y
Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y

If you revisit permissions now, you’ll see what you would expect from a more initially secure installation.

mysql> SELECT host,user,password FROM mysql.user;
+-----------+------+-------------------------------------------+
| host      | user | password                                  |
+-----------+------+-------------------------------------------+
| localhost | root | *FDAF706717E70DB8DDAD0C5214B13770E1A80B0E |
+-----------+------+-------------------------------------------+

This is only the first step to hardening your MySQL instance and server.

Recommendations

The following are my recommendations for the minimum MySQL security permissions:

  • Always set a MySQL ‘root’ user password
  • Change the MySQL ‘root’ user id to a different name, e.g. ‘dba’
  • Only enable SUPER privileges to dba accounts, and only ever for ‘localhost’.
  • Application user permissions should be as restrictive as possible.
  • Never use ‘%’ for a hostname
  • Never use ALL TO *.*
  • Ideally the application should have at least two types of users, a read/write user and a read user.

There is a lot more information about physical Operating System security and the MySQL permission/privilege model to be discussed. One product I know of that help is SecuRich – The MySQL Security Package featuring roles, password history and many other cool functionalities.

References

A recent post by Lance Miller quoted the following.


I cant tell you how many times in the past 18 months that I’ve found real enterprises running vulnerable databases with default passwords, weak passwords and no real permissions management. It’s bad enough that the stats right now are this (so I guess I can tell you):
– 9 out of 10 organizations have a Microsoft SQL Database with a blank “sa” password (or an sa password of “sa”, “sql” or “password”)
– 9 out of 10 organizations have a Postgres Database with a default password
– 9 out of 10 organizations have a Sybase Database with a default password

The article didn’t include MySQL however some organizations don’t change the default password, probably not 9 of 10 in my experience.

More Information