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Password secure way to use Spark JDBC



Studying the documentation below I found a good example of how to use Spark with JDBC to connect to external databases.

I already tested the example and it worked very well. However, when I looked carefully I saw that the password (its text) was being manipulated directly by the program. This way, from the tests I did, the password is open both in the Spark log and the connection, if it is intercepted on the network, the password will be open in open text.

I'm looking for a way to make this connection safely. One mechanism that comes to mind is the hadoop credential provider that I already used with good old sqoop. So in sqoop the password was protected and no visible in any form, even if the connection was intercepted.

Could anyone tell me what mechanisms I can use to make this connection securely, without exposing credentials? It can be a credential provider or something else.

I didn't find anything like that in the Spark documentation.



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Super Collaborator

You're right to be concerned about password security, especially in a distributed environment. Spark doesn't inherently provide a built-in secure password handling mechanism like the Hadoop Credential Provider, but there are several approaches you can consider to enhance security when dealing with passwords:

  1. Credential Providers: While Spark itself doesn't have a native credential provider, you might consider using Hadoop Credential Providers in combination with Spark. You can store sensitive information like passwords in Hadoop's CredentialProvider API. Then, you'd access these securely stored credentials in your Spark job.

  2. Environment Variables: You can set the password as an environment variable on the cluster or machine running Spark. Accessing environment variables in your Spark code helps avoid directly specifying passwords in code or configuration files.

  3. Key Management Services (KMS): Some cloud providers offer key management services that allow you to securely store and manage credentials. You can retrieve these credentials dynamically in your Spark application.

  4. Secure Storage Systems: Leverage secure storage systems or secret management tools like HashiCorp Vault, AWS Secrets Manager, or Azure Key Vault. These tools provide secure storage for sensitive information and offer APIs to retrieve credentials when needed by your application.

  5. Secure File Systems: Utilize secure file systems or encryption mechanisms to protect sensitive configuration files. These files could contain the necessary credentials, and access could be restricted using appropriate permissions.

  6. Encryption and Secure Communication: Ensure that communication between Spark and external systems is encrypted (e.g., using SSL/TLS) to prevent eavesdropping on the network.

  7. Token-Based Authentication: Whenever possible, consider using token-based authentication mechanisms instead of passwords. Tokens can be time-limited and are generally safer for communication over the network.

When implementing these measures, it's crucial to balance security with convenience and operational complexity. Choose the approach that aligns best with your security policies, deployment environment, and ease of management for your use case.

Master Collaborator

There is a two-step process to achieve your scenario: encrypt the password externally and decrypt it within the Spark code.

Step1: Encrypt the Password

  • Choose a Cryptography Library:
    • Use a well-established library like Jasypt, Apache Shiro, Spring Security, or Java's built-in javax.crypto package.
  • Encrypt the Password:
    • Generate a strong encryption key and store it securely (e.g., environment variable, key vault).



val password = "YOUR_PASSWORD"
val salt_key = "YOUR_SALT_KEY"
val encryptedPassword = EncryptionUtil.encrypt(password, salt_key)



Step2: Decrypt the password inside the Spark code and Read JDBC data:

  • Decrypt the password:
    • Read the encrypted password and salt value using either properties file or environment variable or command line arguments and decrypt it before setting JDBC options. 
    val encryptedPassword = sys.env("ENCRYPTED_PASSWORD")
    val saltKey = sys.env("SALT_KEY")
    val decryptedPassword = EncryptionUtil.decrypt(encryptedPassword, saltKey)
  • Set JDBC Options:
    • Provide the JDBC URL, driver class, username, and the encrypted password.
val options = Map(
  "url" -> "jdbc:mysql://your_database_url",
  "driver" -> "com.mysql.jdbc.Driver",
  "user" -> "your_username",
  "password" -> decryptedPassword

val df ="url"), "your_table", options)

Community Manager

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Diana Torres,
Community Moderator

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