Chapter 12. Security

Keeping MySQL secure is critical to protecting your data’s integrity and privacy. Just as you have to protect Unix or Windows login accounts, you need to ensure that MySQL accounts have good passwords and only the privileges they need. Because MySQL is often used on a network, you also need to consider the security of the host that runs MySQL, who has access to it, and what someone could learn by sniffing traffic on your network.

MySQL has a nonstandard security and privilege system that lets you do a lot of specialized tasks. It’s built around a set of simple rules, but there are many complicated exceptions and special cases, so it can be hard to understand. In this chapter, we look at how MySQL’s permissions work and how you can control who has access to your data. The MySQL manual has thorough documentation on privileges, so we just explain the confusing concepts and show you how to do some common tasks that might otherwise be hard to learn. We also consider some of the basic operating system and network security measures you can employ to keep the bad guys out of your databases. Finally, we discuss encryption and running MySQL in a highly restricted environment.


Before we begin, let’s define a few terms that may be confusing. We use them to mean specific things in this chapter:


Who are you? MySQL authenticates you with a username, a password, and the host from which you are connecting. Knowing who you are is a prerequisite to determining ...

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