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Setting up MySQL SSL and secure connections

 | June 22, 2013 |  Posted In: Insight for DBAs, Insight for Developers, MySQL

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There are different articles on how to setup MySQL with SSL but it’s sometimes difficult to end up with a good simple one. Usually, setting up MySQL SSL is not really a smooth process due to such factors like “it’s not your day”, something is broken apparently or the documentation lies 🙂 I am going to provide the brief instructions on how to setup MySQL with SSL, SSL replication and how to establish secure connections from the console and scripts showing the working examples.

SSLQuick links:

 

Setup SSL on MySQL

1. Generate SSL certificates according to the example 1. Use the different Common Name for server and client certificates.

2. For the reference, I store the generated files under /etc/mysql-ssl/

3. Add the following lines to /etc/my.cnf under [mysqld] section:

# SSL
ssl-ca=/etc/mysql-ssl/ca-cert.pem
ssl-cert=/etc/mysql-ssl/server-cert.pem
ssl-key=/etc/mysql-ssl/server-key.pem

4. Restart MySQL.

5. Create an user to permit only SSL-encrypted connection:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO ‘ssluser’@’%’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘pass’ REQUIRE SSL;

Establish secure connection from console

1. If the client is on a different node, copy /etc/mysql-ssl/ from the server to that node.

2. Add the following lines to /etc/my.cnf under [client]:

# SSL
ssl-cert=/etc/mysql-ssl/client-cert.pem
ssl-key=/etc/mysql-ssl/client-key.pem

3. Test a secure connection:

[root@centos6 ~]# mysql -u ssluser -p -sss -e ‘\s’ | grep SSL
SSL: Cipher in use is DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA

Setup SSL replication

1. Establish a secure connection from the console on slave like described above, to make sure SSL works fine.

2. On Master add “REQUIRE SSL” to the replication user:

GRANT REPLICATION SLAVE ON *.* to ‘repl’@’%’ REQUIRE SSL;

3. Change master options and restart slave:

STOP SLAVE;
CHANGE MASTER MASTER_SSL=1,
MASTER_SSL_CA=’/etc/mysql-ssl/ca-cert.pem’,
MASTER_SSL_CERT=’/etc/mysql-ssl/client-cert.pem’,
MASTER_SSL_KEY=’/etc/mysql-ssl/client-key.pem’;

SHOW SLAVE STATUSG
START SLAVE;
SHOW SLAVE STATUSG

Establish secure connection from PHP

1. Install php and php-mysql packages. I use the version >=5.3.3, otherwise, it may not work.

2. Create the script:

[root@centos6 ~]# cat mysqli-ssl.php
$conn=mysqli_init();
mysqli_ssl_set($conn, ‘/etc/mysql-ssl/client-key.pem’, ‘/etc/mysql-ssl/client-cert.pem’, NULL, NULL, NULL);
if (!mysqli_real_connect($conn, ‘127.0.0.1’, ‘ssluser’, ‘pass’)) { die(); }
$res = mysqli_query($conn, ‘SHOW STATUS like “Ssl_cipher”‘);
print_r(mysqli_fetch_row($res));
mysqli_close($conn);

3. Test it:

[root@centos6 ~]# php mysqli-ssl.php
Array
(
[0] => Ssl_cipher
[1] => DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA
)

Establish secure connection from Python

1. Install MySQL-python package.

2. Create the script:

[root@centos6 ~]# cat mysql-ssl.py
#!/usr/bin/env python
import MySQLdb
ssl = {‘cert’: ‘/etc/mysql-ssl/client-cert.pem’, ‘key’: ‘/etc/mysql-ssl/client-key.pem’}
conn = MySQLdb.connect(host=’127.0.0.1′, user=’ssluser’, passwd=’pass’, ssl=ssl)
cursor = conn.cursor()
cursor.execute(‘SHOW STATUS like “Ssl_cipher”‘)
print cursor.fetchone()

3. Test it:

[root@centos6 ~]# python mysql-ssl.py
(‘Ssl_cipher’, ‘DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA’)

Notes

Alternative local SSL connection setup
If you connect locally to the server enabled for SSL you can also establish a secure connection this way:
1. Create ca.pem:

cd /etc/mysql-ssl/
cat server-cert.pem client-cert.pem > ca.pem

2. Have only the following ssl- lines in /etc/my.cnf under [client]:

# SSL
ssl-ca=/etc/mysql-ssl/ca.pem

Error with “ssl-ca” on local connections
If you left the line “ssl-ca=/etc/mysql-ssl/ca-cert.pem” under [client] section in /etc/my.cnf on the server enabled for SSL and try to establish local SSL connection, you will get “ERROR 2026 (HY000): SSL connection error: error:00000001:lib(0):func(0):reason(1)”.

Discrepancy in documentation
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/using-ssl-connections.html says “A client can connect securely like this: shell> mysql –ssl-ca=ca-cert.pem” which does not work with “REQUIRE SSL”. You still have to supply the client cert and key for any or a combined client+server cert for a local secure connection.

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Roman Vynar

Roman is a Lead Platform Engineer at Percona. He joined the company to establish and develop Remote DBA service from scratch. Over time the growing service successfully expanded to Managed Services. Roman develops the monitoring tools, automated scripts, backup solution, notification and incident tracking web system and currently leading Percona Monitoring and Management project.

19 Comments

  • Daniel, no I didn’t. May be under some unknown circumstances it can work somehow but it’s not the purpose of this article.

  • Thanks for the post. One note though: I think you should discourage people from using the -p[pass] option on the command line. It shows up in the history and in the process list with the password exposed in plain text and is a horrible idea from a security standpoint. Especially when you’re just testing, just use -p and wait for it to prompt you for the password.

  • Hi Roman,

    First of all, good post, thanks!

    I know that this is not the point of this whole article but maybe it would be better to change the:
    GRANT USAGE ON *.* to ‘repl’@’%’ REQUIRE SSL;
    to
    GRANT REPLICATION SLAVE ON *.* to ‘repl’@’%’ REQUIRE SSL;
    as we speak about a replication and this could be a bit confusing.

  • Looks like your escape character got lost in translation:

    [root@centos6 ~]# mysql -u ssluser -p -sss -e ‘s’ | grep SSL

    should be

    [root@centos6 ~]# mysql -u ssluser -p -sss -e ‘\s’ | grep SSL

  • In the process of moving a web server to another domain, I would like to grant the access to the files in the old location to the mysql DB on the new site so to minimize differences between them. Yet the latter app presently only allows access by ssl and I would need to both configure QuincyKit and the normal php scripts to accept that. Easier would be to temporarily also allow the regular sql access. How do I do it?

  • i need to complete the project and topic is : ” How to secure a MySQL or MS SQL connected website ”
    So can anybody help me like what should i need to write into this ?

  • I lost a lot of time during my setup because of a crucial setting missing from the my.cnf file. The final winning move for me was:

    ssl-cipher=AES256-SHA:DHE-DSS-AES256-SHA:DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA

  • Thanks for the good info. One problem I had that took a while to figure out: In Example 1 (http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/creating-ssl-files-using-openssl.html) it uses ca.pem and your instructions use ca-cert.pem. I happily copied/pasted without noticing.

  • If your server key has a passphrase, how do you configure that, particularly when running mysql as a service

    • A bit of an old post, but you would remove the passphrase like so: openssl rsa -in server-key.pem -out server-key.pem
      There is no way to have mysql enter a passphrase for a key (that I’m aware of), when running mysql as a service (and who runs it any other way?).

  • I am able to connect via SSL using mysql and the custom perconi.ini (Windows). However, I keep getting access denied using the same host, user, password, and .ini file. Any other things to check?

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