MySQL 5.5.7 and up supports pluggable authentication. Authentication plugins exist on both the server and client sides. Plugins on the server side implement authentication methods for use by clients when they connect to the server. A plugin on the client side communicates with a server-side plugin to provide the authentication information that it requires. A client-side plugin may interact with the user, performing tasks such as soliciting a password or other authentication credentials to be sent to the server. See Section 6.3.6, “Pluggable Authentication”.
Pluggable authentication also enables proxy user capability, in which one user takes the identity of another user. A server-side authentication plugin can return to the server the name of the user whose identity the connecting user should have. See Section 6.3.8, “Proxy Users”.
For more information about authentication plugins, see Section 18.104.22.168, “Writing Authentication Plugins”.