Type: New Feature
Affects Version/s: None
Fix Version/s: None
HBASE-7544 will protect key and value data on the server from accidental leakage by way of improperly disposed disks, improper direct filesystem access, or incorrect HDFS permissions. There are also use cases where sensitive data stored in a table or column family by a given user or application should be protected from all others, and the combination of transparent server-side storage encryption and transport security (SASL auth-conf) is still not sufficient. These instances call for a client side per-cell encryption feature, given the following additional observations:
- The scope of transmission, distribution, and storage of private key material should be as limited as possible. The server is a centralized target (even in the case of an HBase cluster) where the scope of damage from a compromise is magnified if user key material also resides there or can be intercepted after compromise. Where keys are stored in hardware devices, e.g. smartcards, getting the keys to the server may be not possible anyway.
- A client system is far more likely than a contended shared server resource to have necessary available CPU cycles for per-operation cryptographic overheads.
For some cases we might not care so much about the second item, but the first is very important.
I have an implementation of per cell client side encryption as an encrypting HTable wrapper which I could contribute if there is interest.
This JIRA is also about brainstorming how to do better than that.