In this section, we discuss how the MySQL privilege system works in relation to NDB Cluster and the implications of this for keeping an NDB Cluster secure.
Standard MySQL privileges apply to NDB 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
an NDB Cluster. In other words, changes in users and their
privileges do not automatically propagate between SQL nodes by
default. In NDB Cluster 7.2 (and later), you can enable
automatic distribution of MySQL users and privileges across NDB
Cluster SQL nodes; see
Section 18.5.15, “Distributed Privileges Using Shared Grant Tables”, 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.inifile contains at least one empty
[api]section. This means that the NDB Cluster management server performs no checking of the host from which a MySQL Server (or other API node) accesses the NDB Cluster.
There is no firewall, or the firewall fails to protect against access to the NDB Cluster from hosts external to the network.
The host name or IP address of the NDB Cluster 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 NDB Cluster. Using the MySQL
root account, this person can then perform
the following actions:
Execute metadata statements such as
SHOW DATABASESstatement (to obtain a list of all
NDBdatabases on the server) or
SHOW TABLES FROMstatement to obtain a list of all
NDBtables in a given database
SELECT * FROMto read all the data from any table
DELETE FROMto delete all the data from a table
SHOW CREATE TABLEto determine the table schema
UPDATEto 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:
UPDATE some_table SET an_int_column = an_int_column + 1
UPDATE some_table SET a_varchar_column = REVERSE(a_varchar_column)
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
rootcan also access the
INFORMATION_SCHEMAdatabase 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 the
rootaccounts on different NDB Cluster SQL nodes unless you are using distributed privileges.
In sum, you cannot have a safe NDB 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 an NDB 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 an NDB Cluster.
Prior to NDB Cluster 7.2, you should never convert the system
tables in the
mysql database to use the
NDB storage engine. There are a
number of reasons why you should not do this, but the most
important reason is this: Many of the SQL statements
mysql tables storing information
about user privileges, stored routines, scheduled events, and
other database objects cease to function if these tables are
changed to use any storage engine other than
MyISAM. This is a consequence of
various MySQL Server internals. Beginning with NDB Cluster 7.2,
you can use a stored procedure provided for this purpose (see
Section 18.5.15, “Distributed Privileges Using Shared Grant Tables”), but you
are strongly advised not to attempt convert the system tables
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 NDB 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 NDB Cluster distribution.
Once a MySQL user is granted privileges on an
NDBtable from one SQL node in an NDB 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 distribution.