Does anybody have experience with securing/hardening MongoDB server? Check lists or guides would be welcome.
closed as too broad by TildalWave, Adi, AJ Henderson, Eric G, Steve Mar 31 '14 at 16:12
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NoSQL databases are relatively new (although arguably an old concept), I haven't seen any specific MongoDB hardening guides and the usual places I look (CISSecurity, vendor publications, Sans etc all come up short). Suggests it would be a good project for an organisation, uni student, infosec community to write one and maintain it.
There is some basic information in Mongodb.org. All the steps in here should be followed including enabling security. The site itself states MongoDB only has a very basic level of security. http://www.mongodb.org/display/DOCS/Security+and+Authentication
MongoDB and other NoSQL databases also have a lot less (especially security) features than mature SQL databases, so you are unlikely to find fine-grained permissions or data encryption, it uses MD5 for password hashing with the username as the seed. There are also limitations such as authentication not being available with sharding before version 1.9.1 so as always performing a risk assessment and building a threat model to work out your security needs and threats faced is good idea. Based on this output MongoDB or NoSQL databases in general may not be suitable for your needs, or you may need to use it in a different way that maximizes its advantages and minimizes its weaknesses (e.g. for extracts of data rather than your most sensitive information, or on behind a number of layers of network controls rather than directly connected to your web application).
That said, I firmly believe security principles are technology agnostic. If you analyse even the latest attacks, and a good list on datalossdb.org it is amazing how many are still related to default passwords and missing patches. With defense in depth if you follow the following practices should have sufficient security to protect most assets (e.g. individual, commercial) maybe probably not military.
Database hardening principles:
Few very initial things to remember are:
actually they are applicable on all DataStorage Services
PS: very limited mongodb experience
Here is a checklist for MongoDB security
Enable auth – Even if you have deployed your Mongodb servers in a trusted network it is good security practice to enable auth. It provides you “Defense in depth” if your network is compromised. Edit your mongod configuration file to enable auth
Don’t expose your production db to the internet – Restricting physical access to your database is an important aspect of security. If it is not necessary do not expose your production database to the internet. In case of any compromise if an attacker cannot physically connect to your MongoDB server, your data is that much more secure. If you are on AWS you can place your db’s in a VPC private subnet. Read the blog post Deploying MongoDB in a VPC for more information.
Use firewalls – Use firewalls to restrict which other entities are allowed to connect to your mongodb server. Best practice is to only allow your application servers access to the database. If you are hosted on AWS use ‘Security groups’ to restrict access. If you are hosted on a provider that does not support firewall constructs you can easily configure it yourself using ‘iptables’. Refer to the mongodb documentation to configure iptables for your scenario.
Use key files to setup the replica set – Specify a shared key file to enable communication between your mongodb instances in a replica set. To enable this add the keyfile parameter to the config file as below. The contents of the file need to be the same on all the machines.
Disable HTTP status interface Mongodb by default provides a http interface running by default on port 28017 which provides the “home” status page. This interface is not recommended for production use and is best disabled. Use the “nohttpinterface” configuration setting to disable the http interface.
Disable the REST interface The monogdb REST interface is not recommended for production. It does not support any authentication. It is turned off by default. If you have turned it on using the “rest” configuration option you should turn it off for production systems.
Configure Bind_ip If your system has multiple network interfaces you can use the “bind_ip” option to restrict your mongodb server to listen only on the interfaces that are relevant. By default mongodb will bind to all the interfaces
Enable SSL – If you don’t use SSL your data is traveling between your Mongo client and Mongo server unencrypted and is susceptible to eavesdropping, tampering and “man in the middle” attacks. This is especially important if you are connecting to your Mongodb server over unsecure networks like the internet.
Role based authorization – MongoDB supports role based authentication to give you fine grained control over the actions that can be performed by each user. Use role based constructs to restrict access instead of making all your users admins. Refer to the roles documentation for more details.
Enterprise mongodb & Kerberos Enterprise mongodb integrates with Kerberos for authentication. Refer to the mongodb documentation for more details. Username/password systems are inherently insecure – use kerb based authentication if possible.
Disclaimer: I am the founder of mongodirector.com
In addition I would recommend you also encrypt your mongodb data at rest as the other comments have indicated. You can use LUKS (Linux unified key setup) to setup volume level encryption.
protected by Terry Chia Mar 31 '14 at 7:52
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