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Secure Client Authentication with LDAP

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MongoDB Enterprise supports:

  • Proxying authentication requests to a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) service.

  • Simple and SASL binding to LDAP servers. MongoDB Enterprise can bind to an LDAP server via saslauthd or through the operating system libraries.

To learn more, see the LDAP Proxy Authentication and LDAP Authorization sections in the MongoDB Server documentation.

You can use the Kubernetes Operator to configure LDAP to authenticate your client applications that connect to your MongoDB deployments. This guide describes how to configure LDAP authentication from client applications to your MongoDB deployments.

Note

You can't secure a Standalone Instance of MongoDB in a Kubernetes cluster.

  • To configure LDAP in CustomResourceDefinitions, use the parameters under the spec.security.authentication.ldap and other security LDAP settings specific to the MongoDB Agent, from the Kubernetes Operator MongoDB resource specification. The procedures in this section describe the required settings and provide examples of LDAP configuration.

  • To improve security, consider deploying a TLS-encrypted replica set or a TLS-encrypted sharded cluster. Encryption with TLS is optional. By default, LDAP traffic is sent as plain text. This means that username and password are exposed to network threats. Many modern directory services, such as Microsoft Active Directory, require encrypted connections. Consider using LDAP over TLS/SSL to encrypt authentication requests in your Kubernetes Operator MongoDB deployments.

Before you configure LDAP authentication for your MongoDB deployments, complete the following tasks:

1

Change the settings of this YAML file to match your desired replica set configuration.

1---
2apiVersion: mongodb.com/v1
3kind: MongoDB
4metadata:
5 name: <my-replica-set>
6spec:
7 members: 3
8 version: "4.2.2-ent"
9 opsManager:
10 configMapRef:
11 # Must match metadata.name in ConfigMap file
12 name: <configMap.metadata.name>
13 credentials: <mycredentials>
14 type: ReplicaSet
15 persistent: true
16 security:
17 tls:
18 ca: <custom-ca>
19 certsSecretPrefix: <prefix>
20...
2

Open your preferred text editor and paste the object specification at the end of your resource file in the spec section.

3

To enable LDAP in your deployment, configure the following settings in your Kubernetes object:

Key
Type and necessity
Description
Example
boolean,
required
Set to true to enable LDAP authentication.
true
string,
required
Specify the LDAP Distinguished Name to which MongoDB binds when connecting to the LDAP server.
cn=admin,dc=example,dc=org
string,
required
Specify the name of the secret that contains the LDAP Bind Distinguished Name's password with which MongoDB binds when connecting to an LDAP server.
<secret-name>
string,
optional
Add the ConfigMap's name that stores the custom CA that you used to sign your deployment's TLS certificates.
<configmap-name>
string,
optional
Add the field name that stores the CA which validates the LDAP server's TLS certificate.
<configmap-key>
array of strings,
required
Specify the list of hostname:port combinations of one or more LDAP servers. For each server, use a separate line.
<example.com:636>
string,
optional
Set to tls to use LDAPS (LDAP over TLS). Leave blank if your LDAP server doesn't accept TLS. You must enable TLS when you deploy the database resource to use this setting.
tls
string,
required

Specify the mapping that maps the username provided to mongod or mongos for authentication to an LDAP Distinguished Name (DN).

To learn more, see security.ldap.userToDNMapping and LDAP Query Templates in the MongoDB Server documentation.

<match: "(.+)",substitution: "uid={0},ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org">
string,
required
Set to LDAP to enable authentication through LDAP.
LDAP

The resulting configuration may look similar to the following example:

security:
authentication:
enabled: true
# Enabled LDAP Authentication Mode
modes:
- "LDAP"
- "SCRAM"
# LDAP related configuration
ldap:
# Specify the hostname:port combination of one or
# more LDAP servers
servers:
- "ldap1.example.com:636"
- "ldap2.example.com:636"
# Set to "tls" to use LDAP over TLS. Leave blank if
# the LDAP server doesn't accept TLS. You must enable TLS when you deploy the database resource to use this setting.
transportSecurity: "tls"
# If TLS is enabled, add a reference to a ConfigMap that
# contains a CA certificate that validates the LDAP server's
# TLS certificate.
caConfigMapRef:
name: "<configmap-name>"
key: "<configmap-entry-key>"
# Specify the LDAP Distinguished Name to which
# MongoDB binds when connecting to the LDAP server
bindQueryUser: "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=org"
# Specify the password with which MongoDB binds
# when connecting to an LDAP server. This is a
# reference to a Secret Kubernetes Object containing
# one "password" key.
bindQueryPasswordSecretRef:
name: "<secret-name>"

For a full list of LDAP settings, see security settings in the Kubernetes Operator MongoDB resource specification. Also see the spec.security.authentication.agents.automationUserName setting for the MongoDB Agent user in your LDAP-enabled Kubernetes Operator deployment.

4

Update your MongoDB resource with security settings specific to the Agent, from the Kubernetes Operator MongoDB resource specification. The resulting configuration may look similar to the following example:

security:
authentication:
agents:
automationPasswordSecretRef:
key: automationConfigPassword
name: automation-config-password
automationUserName: mms-automation-agent
clientCertificateSecretRef:
name: agent-client-cert
mode: LDAP
enabled: true
ldap:
bindQueryPasswordSecretRef:
name: bind-query-password
bindQueryUser: cn=admin,dc=example,dc=org
servers:
- openldap.namespace.svc.cluster.local:389
userToDNMapping: '[{match: "(.+)",substitution: "uid={0},ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org"}]'
modes:
- LDAP
- SCRAM
requireClientTLSAuthentication: false
5
6

Invoke the following Kubernetes command to update your replica set:

kubectl apply -f <replica-set-conf>.yaml
7

To check the status of your MongoDB resource, use the following command:

kubectl get mdb <resource-name> -o yaml -w

With the -w (watch) flag set, when the configuration changes, the output refreshes immediately until the status phase achieves the Running state. To learn more about resource deployment statuses, see Troubleshoot the Kubernetes Operator.

1

Change the settings of this YAML file to match your desired sharded cluster configuration.

1---
2apiVersion: mongodb.com/v1
3kind: MongoDB
4metadata:
5 name: <my-sharded-cluster>
6spec:
7 shardCount: 2
8 mongodsPerShardCount: 3
9 mongosCount: 2
10 configServerCount: 3
11 version: "4.2.2-ent"
12 opsManager:
13 configMapRef:
14 name: <configMap.metadata.name>
15 # Must match metadata.name in ConfigMap file
16 credentials: <mycredentials>
17 type: ShardedCluster
18 persistent: true
19 security:
20 tls:
21 ca: <custom-ca>
22 certsSecretPrefix: <prefix>
23...
2

Open your preferred text editor and paste the object specification at the end of your resource file in the spec section.

3

To enable LDAP in your deployment, configure the following settings in your Kubernetes object:

Key
Type and necessity
Description
Example
boolean,
required
Set to true to enable LDAP authentication.
true
string,
required
Specify the LDAP Distinguished Name to which MongoDB binds when connecting to the LDAP server.
cn=admin,dc=example,dc=org
string,
required
Specify the name of the secret that contains the LDAP Bind Distinguished Name's password with which MongoDB binds when connecting to an LDAP server.
<secret-name>
string,
optional
Add the ConfigMap's name that stores the custom CA that you used to sign your deployment's TLS certificates.
<configmap-name>
string,
optional
Add the field name that stores the CA which validates the LDAP server's TLS certificate.
<configmap-key>
array of strings,
required
Specify the list of hostname:port combinations of one or more LDAP servers. For each server, use a separate line.
<example.com:636>
string,
optional
Set to tls to use LDAPS (LDAP over TLS). Leave blank if your LDAP server doesn't accept TLS. You must enable TLS when you deploy the database resource to use this setting.
tls
string,
required

Specify the mapping that maps the username provided to mongod or mongos for authentication to an LDAP Distinguished Name (DN).

To learn more, see security.ldap.userToDNMapping and LDAP Query Templates in the MongoDB Server documentation.

<match: "(.+)",substitution: "uid={0},ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org">
string,
required
Set to LDAP to enable authentication through LDAP.
LDAP

The resulting configuration may look similar to the following example:

security:
authentication:
enabled: true
# Enabled LDAP Authentication Mode
modes:
- "LDAP"
- "SCRAM"
# LDAP related configuration
ldap:
# Specify the hostname:port combination of one or
# more LDAP servers
servers:
- "ldap1.example.com:636"
- "ldap2.example.com:636"
# Set to "tls" to use LDAP over TLS. Leave blank if
# the LDAP server doesn't accept TLS. You must enable TLS when you deploy the database resource to use this setting.
transportSecurity: "tls"
# If TLS is enabled, add a reference to a ConfigMap that
# contains a CA certificate that validates the LDAP server's
# TLS certificate.
caConfigMapRef:
name: "<configmap-name>"
key: "<configmap-entry-key>"
# Specify the LDAP Distinguished Name to which
# MongoDB binds when connecting to the LDAP server
bindQueryUser: "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=org"
# Specify the password with which MongoDB binds
# when connecting to an LDAP server. This is a
# reference to a Secret Kubernetes Object containing
# one "password" key.
bindQueryPasswordSecretRef:
name: "<secret-name>"

For a full list of LDAP settings, see security settings in the Kubernetes Operator MongoDB resource specification. Also see the spec.security.authentication.agents.automationUserName setting for the MongoDB Agent user in your LDAP-enabled Kubernetes Operator deployment.

4

Update your MongoDB resource with security settings specific to the Agent, from the Kubernetes Operator MongoDB resource specification. The resulting configuration may look similar to the following example:

security:
authentication:
agents:
automationPasswordSecretRef:
key: automationConfigPassword
name: automation-config-password
automationUserName: mms-automation-agent
clientCertificateSecretRef:
name: agent-client-cert
mode: LDAP
enabled: true
ldap:
bindQueryPasswordSecretRef:
name: bind-query-password
bindQueryUser: cn=admin,dc=example,dc=org
servers:
- openldap.namespace.svc.cluster.local:389
userToDNMapping: '[{match: "(.+)",substitution: "uid={0},ou=groups,dc=example,dc=org"}]'
modes:
- LDAP
- SCRAM
requireClientTLSAuthentication: false
5
6

Invoke the following Kubernetes command to update your sharded cluster:

kubectl apply -f <sharded-cluster-conf>.yaml
7

To check the status of your MongoDB resource, use the following command:

kubectl get mdb <resource-name> -o yaml -w

With the -w (watch) flag set, when the configuration changes, the output refreshes immediately until the status phase achieves the Running state. To learn more about resource deployment statuses, see Troubleshoot the Kubernetes Operator.

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