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Secure Programming Cookbook for C and C++ by Matt Messier, John Viega

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9.10. Securing Database Connections

Problem

You’re using a database backend in your application, and you want to ensure that network traffic between your application and the database server is secured with SSL.

Solution

MySQL 4.00, PostgreSQL 7.1, and newer versions of each of these servers support SSL-enabled connections between clients and servers. If you’re using older versions or another server that’s not covered here that does not support SSL natively, you may wish to use Stunnel (see Recipe 9.5) to secure connections to the server.

Discussion

In the following subsections we’ll look at the different issues for MySQL and PostgreSQL.

MySQL

By default, SSL support is disabled when you are building MySQL. To build MySQL with OpenSSL support enabled, you must specify the --with-vio and --with-openssl options on the command line to the configuration script. Once you have an SSL-enabled version of MySQL built, installed, and running, you can verify that SSL is supported with the following SQL command:

SHOW VARIABLES LIKE 'have_openssl'

If the result of the command is yes, SSL support is enabled.

With an SSL-enabled version of MySQL running, you can use the GRANT command to designate SSL requirements for accessing a particular database or table by user. Any client can specify that it wants to connect to the server using SSL, but with the GRANT options, it can be required.

When writing code using the MySQL C API, use the following mysql_real_connect( ) function to establish a connection ...

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