Security Config

Keeping your TiKV deployment secure

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This page discusses how to secure your TiKV deployment. Learn how to:

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Transport Layer Security is an standard protocol for protecting networking communications from tampering or inspection. TiKV uses OpenSSL, an industry standard, to implement it’s TLS encryption.

It’s often necessary to use TLS in situations where TiKV is being deployed or accessed from outside of a secure virtual local area network (VLAN). This includes deployments which cross the WAN (the public internet), which are part of an untrusted data center network, or where other untrustworthy users or services are active.

Before you get started

Before you get started, review your infrastructure. Your organization may already use something like the Kubernetes certificates API to issue certificates. You will need the following for your deployment:

  • A Certificate Authority (CA) certificate
  • Individual unique certificates and keys for each TiKV or PD service
  • One or many certificates and keys for TiKV clients depending on your needs.

If you have these, you can skip the optional section below.

If your organization doesn’t yet have a public key infrastructure (PKI), you can create a simple Certificate Authority to issue certificates for the services in your deployment. The instructions below show you how to do this in a few quick steps:

Optional: Generate a test certificate chain

Prepare certificates for each TiKV and PD node to be involved with the cluster.

It is recommended to prepare a separate server certificate for TiKV and the Placement Driver (PD), and make sure that they can authenticate each other. The clients of TiKV and PD can share one client certificate.

You can use multiple tools to generate self-signed certificates, such as openssl, easy-rsa, and cfssl.

Here is an example of generating self-signed certificates using easyrsa:

#! /bin/bash
set +e

mkdir -p easyrsa
cd easyrsa
curl -L https://github.com/OpenVPN/easy-rsa/releases/download/v3.0.6/EasyRSA-unix-v3.0.6.tgz \
    | tar xzv --strip-components=1

./easyrsa init-pki \
    && ./easyrsa build-ca nopass

NUM_PD_NODES=3
for i in $(seq 1 $NUM_PD_NODES); do
    ./easyrsa gen-req pd$i nopass
    ./easyrsa sign-req server pd$i
done

NUM_TIKV_NODES=3
for i in $(seq 1 $NUM_TIKV_NODES); do
    ./easyrsa gen-req tikv$i nopass
    ./easyrsa sign-req server tikv$i
done

./easyrsa gen-req client nopass
./easyrsa sign-req server client

If you run this script, you’ll need to interactively answer some questions and make some confirmations. You can answer with anything for the CA common name. For the PD and TiKV nodes, use the hostnames.

You can explore the easyrsa/vars.example file if you are hoping to write an unattended script.

If the script runs successfully, you should have something like this:

$ ls easyrsa/pki/{ca.crt,issued,private}
easyrsa/pki/ca.crt

easyrsa/pki/issued:
client.crt  pd1.crt  pd2.crt  pd3.crt  tikv1.crt  tikv2.crt  tikv3.crt

easyrsa/pki/private:
ca.key  client.key  pd1.key  pd2.key  pd3.key  tikv1.key  tikv2.key  tikv3.key

Configure the TiKV Server Certificates

Specify the TLS options for TiKV certificate with the configuration file options:

# Using empty strings here means disabling secure connections.
[security]
# The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s CA certificates.
ca-path = "/path/to/ca.pem"
# The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s certificate chain.
cert-path = "/path/to/tikv-server-cert.pem"
# The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s private key.
key-path = "/path/to/tikv-server-key.pem"
# The name list used to verify the common name in client’s certificates. Verification is
# not enabled if this field is empty.
cert-allowed-cn = ["tikv-server", "pd-server"]

You’ll also need to change the connection URL to https://.

Configure the PD Certificates

Specify the TLS options for PD certificate with the configuration file options:

[security]
# The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s CA certificates.
cacert-path = "/path/to/ca.pem"
# The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s certificate chain.
cert-path = "/path/to/pd-server-cert.pem"
# The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s private key.
key-path = "/path/to/pd-server-key.pem"
# The name list used to verify the common name in client’s certificates. Verification is
# not enabled if this field is empty.
cert-allowed-cn = ["tikv-server", "pd-server"]

You’ll also need to change the connection URL to https://.

Configure the Client

When connecting your TiKV Client, you’ll need to specify the TLS options. In this example, we build a configuration for the Rust Client:

let config = Config::new(/* ... */).with_security(
    // The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s CA certificates.
    "/path/to/ca.pem",
    // The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s certificate chain.
    "/path/to/client-cert.pem",
    // The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s private key.
    "/path/to/client-key.pem"
);

You’ll also need to change the connection URL to https://.

Connecting with tikv-ctl and pd-ctl

When using pd-ctl and tikv-ctl the relevant options will need to be specified:

pd-ctl                                    \
    --pd     "https://127.0.0.1:2379"     \
    # The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s CA certificates.
    --cacert "/path/to/ca.pem"            \
    # The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s certificate chain.
    --cert   "/path/to/client.pem"        \
    # The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s private key.
    --key    "/path/to/client-key.pem"

tikv-ctl                                  \
    --host      "127.0.0.1:20160"         \
    # The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s CA certificates.
    --ca-path   "/path/to/ca.pem"         \
    # The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s certificate chain.
    --cert-path "/path/to/client.pem"     \
    # The path to the file that contains the PEM encoding of the server’s private key.
    --key-path  "/path/to/client-key.pem"

On-Disk Encryption

TiKV currently does not offer built-in on disk encryption.

This means an actor with access to the directory could extract TiKV data from it. If TiKV offered build in on disk encryption, then an actor would not be able to access the data.

This feature is part of the planned roadmap under ‘Pluggable Engine Interface’. (See Issue #3680 if you want to help.)

If your use case only requires that the data be encrypted at the partition level, it is advised to use dm-crypt. This will protect data if, for example, the disk is incorrectly disposed of or stolen.

Reporting Vulnerabilities

For most vulnerabilities, you are invited to open a ‘Bug Report’ on our issue tracker.

For situations where the vulnerability must be kept secret to maintain data security or integrity, you should contact a maintainer, who are best equipped to handle these critical situations.

Examples of critical situations:

  • You have discovered a bug in the TLS implementation of TiKV which could leak data.
  • You have discovered a way to retrieve more data than expected from TiKV.

Please do not disclose critical vulnerabilities publicly if you are unsure.