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MySQL 8.0 Reference Manual
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17.3.2.3 Binary Log Master Key Rotation

When binary log encryption is enabled, you can rotate the binary log master key at any time while the server is running by issuing ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY. When the binary log master key is rotated manually using this statement, the passwords for the new and subsequent files are encrypted using the new binary log master key, and also the file passwords for existing encrypted binary log files and relay log files are re-encrypted using the new binary log master key, so the encryption is renewed completely. You can rotate the binary log master key on a regular basis to comply with your organization's security policy, and also if you suspect that the current or any of the previous binary log master keys might have been compromised.

When you rotate the binary log master key manually, MySQL Server takes the following actions in sequence:

  1. A new binary log encryption key is generated with the next available sequence number, stored on the keyring, and used as the new binary log master key.

  2. The binary log and relay log files are rotated on all channels.

  3. The new binary log master key is used to encrypt the file passwords for the new binary log and relay log files, and subsequent files until the key is changed again.

  4. The file passwords for existing encrypted binary log files and relay log files on the server are re-encrypted in turn using the new binary log master key, starting with the most recent files. Any unencrypted files are skipped.

  5. Binary log encryption keys that are no longer in use for any files after the re-encryption process are removed from the keyring.

The BINLOG_ENCRYPTION_ADMIN privilege is required to issue ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY, and the statement cannot be used if the binlog_encryption system variable is set to OFF.

As the final step of the binary log master key rotation process, all binary log encryption keys that no longer apply to any retained binary log files or relay log files are cleaned up from the keyring. If a retained binary log file or relay log file cannot be initialized for re-encryption, the relevant binary log encryption keys are not deleted in case the files can be recovered in the future. For example, this might be the case if a file listed in a binary log index file is currently unreadable, or if a channel fails to initialize. If the server UUID changes, for example because a backup created using MySQL Enterprise Backup is used to set up a new replication slave, issuing ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY on the new server does not delete any earlier binary log encryption keys that include the original server UUID.

If any of the first four steps of the binary log master key rotation process cannot be completed correctly, an error message is issued explaining the situation and the consequences for the encryption status of the binary log files and relay log files. Files that were previously encrypted are always left in an encrypted state, but their file passwords might still be encrypted using an old binary log master key. If you see these errors, first retry the process by issuing ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY again. Then investigate the status of individual files to see what is blocking the process, especially if you suspect that the current or any of the previous binary log master keys might have been compromised.

If the final step of the binary log master key rotation process cannot be completed correctly, a warning message is issued explaining the situation. The warning message identifies whether the process could not clean up the auxiliary keys in the keyring for rotating the binary log master key, or could not clean up unused binary log encryption keys. You can choose to ignore the message as the keys are auxiliary keys or no longer in use, or you can issue ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY again to retry the process.

If the server stops and is restarted with binary log encryption still set to ON during the binary log master key rotation process, new binary log files and relay log files after the restart are encrypted using the new binary log master key. However, the re-encryption of existing files is not continued, so files that did not get re-encrypted before the server stopped are left encrypted using the previous binary log master key. To complete re-encryption and clean up unused binary log encryption keys, issue ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY again after the restart.

ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY actions are not written to the binary log and are not executed on replication slaves. Binary log master key rotation can therefore be carried out in replication environments including a mix of MySQL versions. To schedule regular rotation of the binary log master key on all applicable master and slave servers, you can enable the MySQL Event Scheduler on each server and issue the ALTER INSTANCE ROTATE BINLOG MASTER KEY statement using a CREATE EVENT statement. If you rotate the binary log master key because you suspect that the current or any of the previous binary log master keys might have been compromised, issue the statement on every applicable master and slave server. Issuing the statement on individual servers ensures that you can verify immediate compliance, even in the case of slaves that are lagging, belong to multiple replication topologies, or are not currently active in the replication topology but have binary log and relay log files.

The binlog_rotate_encryption_master_key_at_startup system variable controls whether the binary log master key is automatically rotated when the server is restarted. If this system variable is set to ON, a new binary log encryption key is generated and used as the new binary log master key whenever the server is restarted. If it is set to OFF, which is the default, the existing binary log master key is used again after the restart. When the binary log master key is rotated at startup, the file passwords for the new binary log and relay log files are encrypted using the new key. The file passwords for the existing encrypted binary log files and relay log files are not re-encrypted, so they remain encrypted using the old key, which remains available on the keyring.