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PostgreSQL must implement cryptographic mechanisms to prevent unauthorized modification of organization-defined information at rest (to include, at a minimum, PII and classified information) on organization-defined information system components.


Finding ID Version Rule ID IA Controls Severity
V-214124 PGS9-00-008700 SV-214124r508027_rule Medium
PostgreSQLs handling data requiring "data at rest" protections must employ cryptographic mechanisms to prevent unauthorized disclosure and modification of the information at rest. These cryptographic mechanisms may be native to PostgreSQL or implemented via additional software or operating system/file system settings, as appropriate to the situation. Selection of a cryptographic mechanism is based on the need to protect the integrity of organizational information. The strength of the mechanism is commensurate with the security category and/or classification of the information. Organizations have the flexibility to either encrypt all information on storage devices (i.e., full disk encryption) or encrypt specific data structures (e.g., files, records, or fields). The decision whether and what to encrypt rests with the data owner and is also influenced by the physical measures taken to secure the equipment and media on which the information resides.
PostgreSQL 9.x Security Technical Implementation Guide 2022-06-13


Check Text ( C-15340r361003_chk )
Review the system documentation to determine whether the organization has defined the information at rest that is to be protected from modification, which must include, at a minimum, PII and classified information.

If no information is identified as requiring such protection, this is not a finding.

Review the configuration of PostgreSQL, operating system/file system, and additional software as relevant.

If any of the information defined as requiring cryptographic protection from modification is not encrypted in a manner that provides the required level of protection, this is a finding.

One possible way to encrypt data within PostgreSQL is to use pgcrypto extension.

To check if pgcrypto is installed on PostgreSQL, as a database administrator (shown here as "postgres"), run the following command:

$ sudo su - postgres
$ psql -c "SELECT * FROM pg_available_extensions where name='pgcrypto'"

If data in the database requires encryption and pgcrypto is not available, this is a finding.

If disk or filesystem requires encryption, ask the system owner, DBA, and SA to demonstrate filesystem or disk level encryption.

If this is required and is not found, this is a finding.
Fix Text (F-15338r361004_fix)
Configure PostgreSQL, operating system/file system, and additional software as relevant, to provide the required level of cryptographic protection.

The pgcrypto module provides cryptographic functions for PostgreSQL. See supplementary content APPENDIX-E for documentation on installing pgcrypto.

With pgcrypto installed, it's possible to insert encrypted data into the database:

INSERT INTO accounts(username, password) VALUES ('bob', crypt('a_secure_password', gen_salt('md5')));