Tag Archives: Security

Securing MariaDB Galera Cluster using SSL

In MariaDB Galera cluster, the data (writeset) is replicated across all the nodes over network. This data traffic can be secured by enabling SSL connection between the nodes. In order to achieve this, one needs to have SSL certificate/key pair (Here’s how to generate one). The certificate and key can then be copied to all the nodes. Once done, instruct the nodes to establish SSL connection on startup by simply pointing to the certificate/key files using wsrep_provider_options system variable.


Following is the list of SSL options that Galera supports (details : Galera parameters:

  • socket.ssl : Enable/disable SSL, explicitly
  • socket.ssl_ca : SSL CA file
  • socket.ssl_cert : SSL certificate file
  • socket.ssl_cipher : SSL cipher list
  • socket.ssl_compression : Enable/disable SSL compression
  • socket.ssl_key : SSL key file
  • socket.ssl_password_file : SSL password file, in case the key is encrypted

At the time of writing, there is no way to check if galera connection is encrypted using SQL (issue#165). The only way is to look into the node’s error log for the following :

150516 14:22:03 [Note] WSREP: SSL handshake successful, remote endpoint ssl:// local endpoint ssl:// cipher: AES128-SHA compression: 
150516 14:22:03 [Note] WSREP: (6f49f928, 'ssl://') turning message relay requesting on, nonlive peers: 
150516 14:22:03 [Note] WSREP: declaring 73263ae6 at ssl:// stable

Lastly, it is important to note that SST (snapshot state transfer) traffic is not affected, whatsoever, by the use of galera SSL options.

Password validation plugins in MariaDB

Let me start off with a phrase : “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. So, how to ensure that all the links (=passwords) are strong enough to keep the system secure? One of the key attributes to consider here is password strength. MariaDB 10.1.2 added support for password validation by introducing a password validation plugin API and two password validation plugins. These plugins can be used to ensure that the password used for the user accounts adhere to some required security standards.

  1. simple_password_check
  2. cracklib_password_check (requires libcrack2)
  3. So, what passwords are now forbidden? Lets check :

Password validation plugins only validate plain-text password (for obvious reasons!). So commands that contain password hashes are not validated. In order to reject such commands strict_password_validation system variable can be used. Lastly, it important to note that multiple password validation plugins can be loaded at the same time and the password must pass on all the plugins.