Pluggable Authentication is one of the many new MySQL 5.6 features. Pluggable authentication adds a capability to use external authentication services (PAM, Windows login IDs, LDAP, Kerberos, …) but also introduces built-in strong SHA-256 hashing for passwords. The SHA-256 Authentication Plugin uses encryption to protect the password from being sniffed during authentication. Read a live report from teaching the PHP mysqlnd library the new secure authentication method.
Early MySQL versions have had very poor password hashing. The PHP mysqlnd library has never supported the old, insecure password hashing that was used until MySQL 4.1. …[Read more]