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TLS/SSL (Transport Encryption)

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  • TLS/SSL
  • TLS/SSL Ciphers
  • Certificates
  • Identity Verification
  • FIPS Mode

MongoDB supports TLS/SSL (Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt all of MongoDB's network traffic. TLS/SSL ensures that MongoDB network traffic is only readable by the intended client.

Starting in version 4.0, MongoDB disables support for TLS 1.0 encryption on systems where TLS 1.1+ is available. For more details, see Disable TLS 1.0.

Starting in version 4.0, MongoDB uses the native TLS/SSL OS libraries:

Platform
TLS/SSL Library
Windows
Secure Channel (Schannel)
Linux/BSD
OpenSSL
macOS
Secure Transport

MongoDB's TLS/SSL encryption only allows use of strong TLS/SSL ciphers with a minimum of 128-bit key length for all connections.

Forward Secrecy cipher suites create an ephemeral session key that is protected by the server's private key but is never transmitted. The use of an ephemeral key ensures that even if a server's private key is compromised, you cannot decrypt past sessions with the compromised key.

MongoDB supports Forward Secrecy cipher suites that use Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE) and Ephemeral Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDHE) algorithms.

Platform
Level of Support
Linux

Starting in version 4.2

  • If the Linux platform's OpenSSL supports automatic curve selection, MongoDB enables support for Ephemeral Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDHE).
  • Else if the Linux platform's OpenSSL does not support automatic curve selection, MongoDB attempts to enable ECDHE support using prime256v1 as the named curve .

Starting in 3.6.14 and 4.0.3

  • MongoDB enables support for Ephemeral Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDHE) if, during compile time, the Linux platform's OpenSSL supports automatic curve selection.
Note

If support for ECDHE is enabled, MongoDB 4.2+ attempts to enable support for Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE) if Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE) is not explicitly enabled. See Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE) for details.

Windows
Starting in version 4.0, Ephemeral Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDHE) is implicitly supported through the use of Secure Channel (Schannel), the native Windows TLS/SSL library.
macOS
Starting in version 4.0, Ephemeral Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDHE) is implicitly supported through the use of Secure Transport, the native macOS TLS/SSL library.

ECDHE cipher suites are slower than static RSA cipher suites. For better performance with ECDHE, you can use certificates that use Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA). See also Forward Secrecy Performance for more information

Platform
Level of Support
Linux

Starting in version 4.2: MongoDB enables support for Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE):

For versions 3.6 and 4.0, MongoDB enables support for Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE):

Windows
Starting in version 4.0, Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE) is implicitly supported through the use of Secure Channel (Schannel), the native Windows TLS/SSL library.
macOS
Starting in version 4.0, Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE) is implicitly supported through the use of Secure Transport, the native macOS TLS/SSL library.
Note

If clients negotiate a cipher suite with DHE but cannot accept the server selected parameter, the TLS connection fails.

Strong parameters (i.e. size is greater than 1024) are not supported with Java 6 and 7 unless extended support has been purchased from Oracle. However, Java 7 supports and prefers ECDHE, so will negotiate ECDHE if available.

DHE (and ECDHE) cipher suites are slower performance than static RSA cipher suites, with DHE being significantly slower than ECDHE. See Forward Secrecy Performance for more information.

DHE and ECDHE cipher suites are slower than static RSA cipher suites, with DHE being significantly slower than ECDHE.

For better performance with ECDHE, you can use certificates that use Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA). Alternatively, you can disable ECDHE cipher suites with the opensslCipherConfig parameter as in the following example (which also disables DHE)

mongod --setParameter opensslCipherConfig='HIGH:!EXPORT:!aNULL:!kECDHE:!ECDHE:!DHE:!kDHE@STRENGTH'

If you need to disable support for DHE cipher suites due to performance, you can use the opensslCipherConfig parameter, as in the following example:

mongod --setParameter opensslCipherConfig='HIGH:!EXPORT:!aNULL:!DHE:!kDHE@STRENGTH'

To use TLS/SSL with MongoDB , you must have the TLS/SSL certificates as PEM files, which are concatenated certificate containers.

MongoDB can use any valid TLS/SSL certificate issued by a certificate authority or a self-signed certificate. If you use a self-signed certificate, although the communications channel will be encrypted, there will be no validation of server identity. Although such a situation will prevent eavesdropping on the connection, it leaves you vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack. Using a certificate signed by a trusted certificate authority will permit MongoDB drivers to verify the server's identity.

For example, see TLS/SSL Configuration for Clients.

Changed in version 4.4: mongod / mongos logs a warning on connection if the presented x.509 certificate expires within 30 days of the mongod/mongos host system time. See x.509 Certificates Nearing Expiry Trigger Warnings for more information.

Starting in version 4.4, to check for certificate revocation, MongoDB enables the use of OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) by default. The use of OCSP eliminates the need to periodically download a Certificate Revocation List (CRL) and restart the mongod/mongos with the updated CRL.

In versions 4.0 and 4.2, the use of OCSP is available only through the use of system certificate store on Windows or macOS.

As part of its OCSP support, MongoDB 4.4+ supports the following on Linux:

  • OCSP stapling. With OCSP stapling, mongod and mongos instances attach or "staple" the OCSP status response to their certificates when providing these certificates to clients during the TLS/SSL handshake. By including the OCSP status response with the certificates, OCSP stapling obviates the need for clients to make a separate request to retrieve the OCSP status of the provided certificates.
  • OCSP must-staple extension. OCSP must-staple is an extension that can be added to the server certificate that tells the client to expect an OCSP staple when it receives a certificate during the TLS/SSL handshake.

MongoDB also provides the following OCSP-related parameters:

Parameter
Description
Enables or disables the OCSP support.

Specifies the number of seconds to wait before refreshing the stapled OCSP status response.

Renamed from ocspValidationRefreshPeriodSecs to ocspStaplingRefreshPeriodSecs in MongoDB 4.4.1.

Changed in version 4.4.1.

Specifies the maximum number of seconds the mongod/mongos instance should wait to receive the OCSP status response for its certificates.
Specifies the maximum number of seconds that the mongod/mongos should wait for the OCSP response when verifying client certificates.

You can set these parameters at startup using the setParameter configuration file setting or the --setParameter command line option.

In addition to encrypting connections, TLS/SSL allows for authentication using certificates, both for client authentication and for internal authentication of members of replica sets and sharded clusters.

For more information, see:

Note
Enterprise Feature

Available in MongoDB Enterprise only.

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) is a U.S. government computer security standard used to certify software modules and libraries that encrypt and decrypt data securely. You can configure MongoDB to run with a FIPS 140-2 certified library for OpenSSL. Configure FIPS to run by default or as needed from the command line.

For an example, see Configure MongoDB for FIPS.

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