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Displaying posts with tag: network (reset)
Network attacks on MySQL, Part 6: Loose ends

Backup traffic

After securing application-to-database and replication traffic, you should also do the same for backup traffic.

If you use Percona XtraBackup with streaming than you should use SSH to send your backup to a secure location. The same is true for MySQL Enterprise Backup. Also both have options to encrypt the backup itself. If you send your backup to a cloud service this is something you should really do, especially if it is not sent via SSH or HTTPS.

And mysqldump and mysqlbinlog both support SSL. And you could use GnuPG, OpenSSL, WinZIP or any other tool to encrypt it.

Sending credentials

You could try to force the client to send credentials elsewhere. This can be done if you can control the parameters to the mysql client. It reads the config from /etc/my.cnf, ~/.my.cnf and ~/.mylogin.conf but if you for example specify a login-path and a hostname.. it connects to that host, but with the …

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Network attacks on MySQL, Part 5: Attack on SHA256 based passwords

The mysql_sha256_password doesn't use the nonce system which is used for mysql_new_password, but instead forces the use of RSA or SSL.

This is how that works:

  1. The client connects
  2. The server changes authentication to sha256 password (or default?)
  3. The server sends the RSA public key.
  4. The client encrypts the password with the RSA public key and sends it to the server.
  5. The server decrypts the password with the private key and validates it.

The problem is that the client trusts public key of the server. It is possible to use --server-public-key-path=file_name. But then you need to take care of secure public key distribution yourself.

So if we put a proxy between the client and the …

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Network attacks on MySQL, Part 4: SSL hostnames

In my previous blogs I told you to enable SSL/TLS and configure it to check the CA. So I followed my advice and did all that. Great!

So the --ssl-mode setting was used a few times as a solution. And it has a setting we didn't use yet: VERIFY_IDENTITY. In older MySQL versions you can use --ssl-verify-server-cert. Both turn on hostname verification.

The attack

Get any certificate which is trusted by the configured CA, this can for example be a certificate from a development machine. And use that with a man-in-the-middle proxy.

Then the client:

  1. Checks if SSL is uses (--ssl-mode=REQUIRED)
  2. Verify if the certificate is signed by a trusted CA (--ssl-mode=VERIFY_CA)

Both checks succeed. But the certificate might be for and the database server might be …

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Network attacks on MySQL, Part 3: What do you trust?

In my previous blogs I told you to enable SSL/TLS and force the connection to be secured. So I followed my advice and did forced SSL. Great!

So now everything is 100% secure isn't it?

No it isn't and I would never claim anything to be 100% secure.

There are important differences in the SSL/TLS implementations of browers and the implementation in MySQL. One of these differences is that your browser has a trust store with a large set of trusted certificate authorities. If the website you visit has SSL enabled then your browser will check if the certificate it presents is signed by a trusted CA. MySQL doesn't use a list of trusted CA's, and this makes sense for many setups.

The key difference is that a website has clients (browsers) which are not managed by the same organization. And for MySQL connections the set of clients is often much smaller are more or less managed by one organization. Adding a CA for a set of …

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Network attacks on MySQL, Part 2: SSL stripping with MySQL


In my previous blog post I told you to use SSL/TLS to secure your MySQL network connections. So I followed my advice and did enable SSL. Great!

So first let's quickly verify that everything is working.

So you enabled SSL with mysql_ssl_rsa_setup, used a OpenSSL based build or put ssl-cert, ssl-key and ssl-ca in the mysqld section of your /etc/my.cnf and now show global variables like 'have_SSL'; returns 'YES'.

And you have configured the client with --ssl-mode=PREFERRED. Now show global status like 'Ssl_cipher'; indicates the session is indeed secured.

You could also dump traffic and it looks 'encrypted' (i.e. not readable)...

With SSL enabled everything should be safe isn't it?

The handshake …

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Network attacks on MySQL, Part 1: Unencrypted connections


In a set of blog posts I will explain to you how different attacks on the network traffic of MySQL look like and what you can do to secure your systems againt these kinds of attacks.

How to gain access

To gain access to MySQL network traffic you can use tcpdump, dumpcap, snoop or whatever the tool to capture network packets on your OS is. This can be on any device which is part of the connnection: the server, the client, routers, switches, etc.

Besides application-to-database traffic this attack can also be done on replication traffic.


This allows you to extract queries and result sets.

The default password hash type mysql_new_password uses a nonce to protect against password sniffing. But when you change a password this will be sent accross the wire by default. Note that MySQL 5.6 and newer has …

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Network Traffic Analyzer with RaspberryPI

Motivation Melbourne just won the “most liveable city 2016”, the 5th time in a row. That’s awesome, but it comes with a price, and the one you’d think of: internet here sucks! Sounds weird, isn’t it? Well, one of the reasons Melbourne is such a great city, is it’s size, the amount of people in [...]


we use tcpcopy to make real traffic on our core systems. Many problems will be found in advance if we enlarge queries several times.


linux memory management for servers

We’ve been learning for many years how to run Linux for databases, but over time we realized that many of our lessons learned apply to many other server workloads. Generally, server process will have to interact with network clients, access memory, do some storage operations and do some processing work – all under supervision of the kernel.

Unfortunately, from what I learned, there’re various problems in pretty much every area of server operation. By keeping the operational knowledge in narrow camps we did not help others. Finding out about these problems requires quite intimate understanding of how things work and slightly more than beginner kernel knowledge.

Many different choices could be made by doing empiric tests, sometimes with outcomes that guide or misguide direction for many years. In our work we try to understand the reasons behind differences that we observe in random poking at a problem.

In order …

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MySQL - basic network security

Having secured our MySQL server and created a personal account to allow for remote administration, we can take one step further on blocking unwanted access to our database server. For this example, we'll continue to use the Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Server installed and configured on the previous posts. After booting up the server, running a network check for connections, lists our server listening on

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