SSL vs MD5??

Posted on 2010-08-25
Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I have developed a user login for a customer portal on my website (code below). I believe I have it md5 encrypted… (please correct me if I am wrong) – passwords on the database are still plain text… Is this secure?

Also – if this is so far the only security on my site do I also need an SSL certificate? What is the difference? Any help would be great. Thanks!

$username = $_POST['username'];
$password = md5($_POST['password']);

if ($username&&$password)
	$connect = mysql_connect("xxxx", "xxxx", "xxxx") or die("Connection Error!");
	mysql_select_db("xxxx") or die("Couldn't find db");
	$query = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM users WHERE username='$username'");
	$numrows = mysql_num_rows($query);
	if ($numrows!=0)
		while ($row = mysql_fetch_assoc($query))
	$dbusername = $row['username'];
	$dbpassword = $row['password'];

	echo "Success!";
echo "Incorrect password!";

	die ("That user doesnt exist.");
die("Please enter username and password.");


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Question by:brettsky07
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Expert Comment

by:Patrick Tallarico
ID: 33524116
This may protect your password from being sniffed on a network, but it doesn't protect the username, or any data that is transmitted after authentication.
If your clients will be handling sensitive data while on this web site, I would strongly suggest SSL.

Expert Comment

ID: 33524166
what you have you can do is. md5 your password and then save it into your database rather than saving it as plain text. In which the password in your database will be encrypted and even if people get access to the database they wont be able to crack it.

 I would recommend you to get an SSL atleast a shared SSL.

Author Comment

ID: 33524171
So is that all i need for md5 encryption? or is there something i need to do to the actual database as well?
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Expert Comment

ID: 33524236
Yeas that is all you need. You can do the same thing in MYSQL side too. MYSQL also supports a variety of encrytion. refer this page:

Author Comment

ID: 33524273
is it necessary to do mysql encryption as well if i get a ssl certificate? Would the certificate protect the database?

Expert Comment

ID: 33524309
Security is needed in 3 areas

1) Client Side: Using Javascript

2) On the network: Done by sending encrypted data and sending data using SSL

3) Server Side: Using encrytion like md5

Author Comment

ID: 33524370
Ok. Thanks for all your help!
LVL 27

Accepted Solution

Tolomir earned 250 total points
ID: 33525871
md5 is no encryption it is a hash function.

There is no way to get the original value from a hash value without brute force hashing all values into a hash value.

For details see:

So: If you use a http connection the user sends his password unencrypted over the internet (or local lan) on the server the password is md5 hashed and compared to the md5 hash value stored in database.
Someone sniffing the network can easily extract the usename + password.

so if you send passwords over the internet ALWAYS use SSL (https://) Connections.

LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:Lukasz Chmielewski
Lukasz Chmielewski earned 250 total points
ID: 33526481
For what it seems you are not storing your passwords as a plain text - you are checking if the hash is equal to the hash soterd in the database...

Author Comment

ID: 33571233
Thanks so much for everyone's help! I will for sure get an SSL cert.

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