In this section, we discuss how the MySQL privilege system works in relation to MySQL Cluster and the implications of this for keeping a MySQL Cluster secure.
Standard MySQL privileges apply to MySQL Cluster tables. This
includes all MySQL privilege types
DELETE privilege, and so on)
granted on the database, table, and column level. As with any
other MySQL Server, user and privilege information is stored in
mysql system database. The SQL statements
used to grant and revoke privileges on
NDB tables, databases containing
such tables, and columns within such tables are identical in all
respects with the
REVOKE statements used in
connection with database objects involving any (other) MySQL
storage engine. The same thing is true with respect to the
CREATE USER and
DROP USER statements.
It is important to keep in mind that, by default, the MySQL
grant tables use the
engine. Because of this, those tables are not normally
duplicated or shared among MySQL servers acting as SQL nodes in
a MySQL Cluster. In other words, changes in users and their
privileges do not automatically propagate between SQL nodes by
default. If you wish, you can enable automatic distribution of
MySQL users and privileges across MySQL Cluster SQL nodes; see
Section 18.5.14, “Distributed MySQL Privileges for MySQL Cluster”, for
Conversely, because there is no way in MySQL to deny privileges
(privileges can either be revoked or not granted in the first
place, but not denied as such), there is no special protection
NDB tables on one SQL node from
users that have privileges on another SQL node; (This is true
even if you are not using automatic distribution of user
privileges. The definitive example of this is the MySQL
root account, which can perform any action on
any database object. In combination with empty
config.ini file, this account can be
especially dangerous. To understand why, consider the following
config.ini file contains at least
[api] section. This means that the MySQL
Cluster management server performs no checking of the host
from which a MySQL Server (or other API node) accesses the
There is no firewall, or the firewall fails to protect against access to the MySQL Cluster from hosts external to the network.
The host name or IP address of the MySQL Cluster's management server is known or can be determined from outside the network.
If these conditions are true, then anyone, anywhere can start a
MySQL Server with
and access this MySQL Cluster. Using the MySQL
root account, this person can then perform
the following actions:
Execute metadata statements such as
SHOW DATABASES statement (to
obtain a list of all
databases on the server) or
statement to obtain a list of all
NDB tables in a given database
SELECT * FROM
all the data from any table
delete all the data from a table
SHOW CREATE TABLE
determine the table schema
UPDATE to fill
a table column with “garbage” data; this
could actually cause much greater damage than simply
deleting all the data
More insidious variations might include statements like these:
Such malicious statements are limited only by the imagination of the attacker.
The only tables that would be safe from this sort of mayhem
would be those tables that were created using storage
engines other than
NDB, and so
not visible to a “rogue” SQL node.
A user who can log in as
root can also
and its tables, and so obtain information about databases,
tables, stored routines, scheduled events, and any other
database objects for which metadata is stored in
It is also a very good idea to use different passwords for
root accounts on different MySQL
Cluster SQL nodes unless you are using distributed
In sum, you cannot have a safe MySQL Cluster if it is directly accessible from outside your local network.
Never leave the MySQL root account password empty. This is just as true when running MySQL as a MySQL Cluster SQL node as it is when running it as a standalone (non-Cluster) MySQL Server, and should be done as part of the MySQL installation process before configuring the MySQL Server as an SQL node in a MySQL Cluster.
If you wish to employ MySQL Cluster's distributed privilege
capabilities, you should not simply convert the system tables in
mysql database to use the
NDB storage engine manually. Use
the stored procedure provided for this purpose instead; see
Section 18.5.14, “Distributed MySQL Privileges for MySQL Cluster”.
Otherwise, if you need to synchronize
system tables between SQL nodes, you can use standard MySQL
replication to do so, or employ a script to copy table entries
between the MySQL servers.
Summary. The most important points to remember regarding the MySQL privilege system with regard to MySQL Cluster are listed here:
Users and privileges established on one SQL node do not automatically exist or take effect on other SQL nodes in the cluster. Conversely, removing a user or privilege on one SQL node in the cluster does not remove the user or privilege from any other SQL nodes.
You can distribute MySQL users and privileges among SQL nodes using the SQL script, and the stored procedures it contains, that are supplied for this purpose in the MySQL Cluster distribution.
Once a MySQL user is granted privileges on an
NDB table from one SQL node in
a MySQL Cluster, that user can “see” any data
in that table regardless of the SQL node from which the data
originated, even if you are not using privilege