Preventing MySQL Injection Attacks With GreenSQL On Debian Etch

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

GreenSQL (or greensql-fw) is a firewall for MySQL databases that filters SQL injection attacks. It works as a reverse proxy, i.e., it takes the SQL queries, checks them, passes them on to the MySQL database and delivers back the result from the MySQL database. It comes with a web interface (called greensql-console) so that you can manage GreenSQL through a web browser. This guide shows how you can install GreenSQL and its web interface on a Debian Etch server.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

I have tested this on a Debian Etch server where MySQL and Apache are already installed. I will use the virtual host with the document root /var/www/web1/web to install the GreenSQL web interface.


2 Installing greensql-fw

The GreenSQL project provides binary packages for Debian Etch on (you can find packages for other distributions on Download and install the latest .deb package like this:

cd /tmp
dpkg -i greensql-fw_0.9.2_i386.deb

(This is for an i386 system.)

You will see the following questions:

What is the name of the server used to store GreenSQL configuration db (MySQL server)? <-- localhost
What is the database name for the GreenSQL configuration? <-- greendb
Would you like to set up the database and tables automatically? <-- Yes
What is the username of the MySQL administrator? <-- root
Enter the MySQL administrator password <-- yourrootsqlpassword (replace this with your root MySQL password)
Confirm this password <-- yourrootsqlpassword (replace this with your root MySQL password)
What is the GreenSQL db username? <-- green
What is the GreenSQL user password? <-- greensqlpassword (replace this with a password of your choice for the green MySQL user)

After the installation, greensql-fw will run on on the port 3305 (the default MySQL port is 3306). You can check that by running

netstat -tap | grep greensql

server1:~# netstat -tap | grep greensql
tcp        0      0 localhost.localdom:3305 *:*                     LISTEN     4499/greensql-fw

To test if greensql-fw is working ok, you can try to connect to MySQL through the GreenSQL proxy:

mysql -h -P 3305 -u root -p

Type in your MySQL root password, and you should be logged in. greensql-fw is now ready to be used.

If you want your web applications to connect to MySQL through greensql-fw, you must change their MySQL settings. For example, if you have a PHP application with the following line in its configuration file (e.g. config.php)...

$link = mysql_connect('localhost', 'mysql_user', 'mysql_password');

... change it to

$link = mysql_connect('', 'mysql_user', 'mysql_password');

(It is important that you connect to instead of localhost because greensql-fw supports TCP connections, but not Unix sockets!)


3 Installing greensql-console

The GreenSQL web interface (greensql-console) can be downloaded from To install it in /var/www/web1/web, we proceed as follows:

cd /var/www/web1/web
tar xvfz greensql-console-0.4.2.tar.gz

This creates the subdirectory greensql-console in /var/www/web1/web. Next we must adjust the greensql-console configuration:

cd greensql-console
vi config.php

In config.php, make sure that you fill in the correct password for the green MySQL user (in the line $db_pass):


# Uncomment the following line to switch to demo version
#$demo_version = 1;

# greensql version
$version = "0.4.0";

# MySQL Database IP address
$db_host = "";

#MySQL Database Port Value.
$db_port = 3306;

# MySQL database name used to store greensql confiuration and alerts
$db_name = "greendb";

# MySQL database user and password
$db_user = "green";
$db_pass = "greensqlpassword";

# If you run greensql-fw service on the same computer you can specify
# location of it's log file. It will be visible as part of the console.
$log_file = "/var/log/greensql.log";

# Number of lines to show when viewing log file.
$num_log_lines = 200;

# Generated web pages cache
$cache_dir = "templates_c";


Then make the templates_c/ directory world-writable:

chmod 777 templates_c/

Open a browser and go to Log in with the username admin and the password pwd:

In the GreenSQL web interface, you can now see which MySQL queries got blocked and with what score, you can whitelist MySQL queries, tell greensql-fw what to block and what to allow for each individual database, watch the log or change the admin password for the GreenSQL web interface:

If you want to change the points that greensql-fw assigns for certain tests, you can do that by modifying the greensql-fw configuration file /etc/greensql/greensql.conf. After you have changed the file, you must restart greensql-fw:

/etc/init.d/greensql-fw stop
/etc/init.d/greensql-fw start

(The restart command did not work on my system, it seemed to hang...)

You can find the GreenSQL log in /var/log/greensql.log.


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By: Great article, totally what I was looking for.???

Great article, totally what I was looking for.???