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ADD SIGNATURE (Transact-SQL)

Adds a digital signature to a stored procedure, function, assembly, or trigger. Also adds a countersignature to a stored procedure, function, assembly, or trigger.

Applies to: SQL Server (SQL Server 2008 through current version).

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

ADD [ COUNTER ] SIGNATURE TO module_class::module_name 
    BY <crypto_list> [ ,...n ]

<crypto_list> ::=
    CERTIFICATE cert_name
    | CERTIFICATE cert_name [ WITH PASSWORD = 'password' ]
    | CERTIFICATE cert_name WITH SIGNATURE = signed_blob 
    | ASYMMETRIC KEY Asym_Key_Name
    | ASYMMETRIC KEY Asym_Key_Name [ WITH PASSWORD = 'password'.]
    | ASYMMETRIC KEY Asym_Key_Name WITH SIGNATURE = signed_blob

module_class

Is the class of the module to which the signature is added. The default for schema-scoped modules is OBJECT.

module_name

Is the name of a stored procedure, function, assembly, or trigger to be signed or countersigned.

CERTIFICATE cert_name

Is the name of a certificate with which to sign or countersign the stored procedure, function, assembly, or trigger.

WITH PASSWORD ='password'

Is the password that is required to decrypt the private key of the certificate or asymmetric key. This clause is only required if the private key is not protected by the database master key.

SIGNATURE =signed_blob

Specifies the signed, binary large object (BLOB) of the module. This clause is useful if you want to ship a module without shipping the private key. When you use this clause, only the module, signature, and public key are required to add the signed binary large object to a database. signed_blob is the blob itself in hexadecimal format.

ASYMMETRIC KEY Asym_Key_Name

Is the name of an asymmetric key with which to sign or counter-sign the stored procedure, function, assembly, or trigger.

The module being signed or countersigned and the certificate or asymmetric key used to sign it must already exist. Every character in the module is included in the signature calculation. This includes leading carriage returns and line feeds.

A module can be signed and countersigned by any number of certificates and asymmetric keys.

The signature of a module is dropped when the module is changed.

If a module contains an EXECUTE AS clause, the security ID (SID) of the principal is also included as a part of the signing process.

Caution note Caution

Module signing should only be used to grant permissions, never to deny or revoke permissions.

Inline table-valued functions cannot be signed.

Information about signatures is visible in the sys.crypt_properties catalog view.

Caution note Caution

When recreating a procedure for signature, all the statements in the original batch must match recreation batch. If any portion of the batch differs, even in spaces or comments, the resultant signature will be different.

Countersignatures

When executing a signed module, the signatures will be temporarily added to the SQL token, but the signatures are lost if the module executes another module or if the module terminates execution. A countersignature is a special form of signature. By itself, a countersignature does not grant any permissions, however, it allows signatures made by the same certificate or asymmetric key to be kept for the duration of the call made to the countersigned object.

For example, presume that user Alice calls procedure ProcSelectT1ForAlice, which calls procedure procSelectT1, which selects from table T1. Alice has EXECUTE permission on ProcSelectT1ForAlice and procSelectT1, but she does not have SELECT permission on T1, and no ownership chaining is involved in this entire chain. Alice cannot access table T1, either directly, or through the use of ProcSelectT1ForAlice and procSelectT1. Since we want Alice to always use ProcSelectT1ForAlice for access, we don't want to grant her permission to execute procSelectT1. How can we accomplish this?

  • If we sign procSelectT1, such that procSelectT1 can access T1, then Alice can invoke procSelectT1 directly and she doesn't have to call ProcSelectT1ForAlice.

  • We could deny EXECUTE permission on procSelectT1 to Alice, but then Alice would not be able to call procSelectT1 through ProcSelectT1ForAlice either.

  • Signing ProcSelectT1ForAlice would not work by itself, because the signature would be lost in the call to procSelectT1.

However, by countersigning procSelectT1 with the same certificate used to sign ProcSelectT1ForAlice, SQL Server will keep the signature across the call chain and will allow access to T1. If Alice attempts to call procSelectT1 directly, she cannot access T1, because the countersignature doesn't grant any rights. Example C below, shows the Transact-SQL for this example.

Requires ALTER permission on the object and CONTROL permission on the certificate or asymmetric key. If an associated private key is protected by a password, the user also must have the password.

A. Signing a stored procedure by using a certificate

The following example signs the stored procedure HumanResources.uspUpdateEmployeeLogin with the certificate HumanResourcesDP.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
ADD SIGNATURE TO HumanResources.uspUpdateEmployeeLogin 
    BY CERTIFICATE HumanResourcesDP;
GO

B. Signing a stored procedure by using a signed BLOB

The following example creates a new database and creates a certificate to use in the example. The example creates and signs a simple stored procedure and retrieves the signature BLOB from sys.crypt_properties. The signature is then dropped and added again. The example signs the procedure by using the WITH SIGNATURE syntax.

CREATE DATABASE TestSignature ;
GO
USE TestSignature ;
GO
-- Create a CERTIFICATE to sign the procedure.
CREATE CERTIFICATE cert_signature_demo 
    ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'pGFD4bb925DGvbd2439587y'
    WITH SUBJECT = 'ADD SIGNATURE demo';
GO
-- Create a simple procedure.
CREATE PROC [sp_signature_demo]
AS
    PRINT 'This is the content of the procedure.' ;
GO
-- Sign the procedure.
ADD SIGNATURE TO [sp_signature_demo] 
    BY CERTIFICATE [cert_signature_demo] 
    WITH PASSWORD = 'pGFD4bb925DGvbd2439587y' ;
GO
-- Get the signature binary BLOB for the sp_signature_demo procedure.
SELECT cp.crypt_property
    FROM sys.crypt_properties AS cp
    JOIN sys.certificates AS cer
        ON cp.thumbprint = cer.thumbprint
    WHERE cer.name = 'cert_signature_demo' ;
GO

The crypt_property signature that is returned by this statement will be different each time you create a procedure. Make a note of the result for use later in this example. For this example, the result demonstrated is: 0x831F5530C86CC8ED606E5BC2720DA835351E46219A6D5DE9CE546297B88AEF3B6A7051891AF3EE7A68EAB37CD8380988B4C3F7469C8EABDD9579A2A5C507A4482905C2F24024FFB2F9BD7A953DD5E98470C4AA90CE83237739BB5FAE7BAC796E7710BDE291B03C43582F6F2D3B381F2102EEF8407731E01A51E24D808D54B373.

-- Drop the signature so that it can be signed again.
DROP SIGNATURE FROM [sp_signature_demo] 
    BY CERTIFICATE [cert_signature_demo];
GO
-- Add the signature. Use the signature BLOB obtained earlier.
ADD SIGNATURE TO [sp_signature_demo] 
    BY CERTIFICATE [cert_signature_demo]
    WITH SIGNATURE = 0x831F5530C86CC8ED606E5BC2720DA835351E46219A6D5DE9CE546297B88AEF3B6A7051891AF3EE7A68EAB37CD8380988B4C3F7469C8EABDD9579A2A5C507A4482905C2F24024FFB2F9BD7A953DD5E98470C4AA90CE83237739BB5FAE7BAC796E7710BDE291B03C43582F6F2D3B381F2102EEF8407731E01A51E24D808D54B373 ;
GO

C. Accessing a procedure using a countersignature

The following example shows how countersigning can help control access to an object.

-- Create tesT1 database
CREATE DATABASE testDB;
GO
USE testDB;
GO
-- Create table T1
CREATE TABLE T1 (c varchar(11));
INSERT INTO T1 VALUES ('This is T1.');

-- Create a TestUser user to own table T1
CREATE USER TestUser WITHOUT LOGIN;
ALTER AUTHORIZATION ON T1 TO TestUser;

-- Create a certificate for signing
CREATE CERTIFICATE csSelectT
  ENCRYPTION BY PASSWORD = 'SimplePwd01'
  WITH SUBJECT = 'Certificate used to grant SELECT on T1';
CREATE USER ucsSelectT1 FROM CERTIFICATE csSelectT;
GRANT SELECT ON T1 TO ucsSelectT1;

-- Create a principal with low privileges
CREATE LOGIN Alice WITH PASSWORD = 'SimplePwd01';
CREATE USER Alice;

-- Verify Alice cannoT1 access T1;
EXECUTE AS LOGIN = 'Alice';
    SELECT * FROM T1;
REVERT;

-- Create a procedure that directly accesses T1
CREATE PROCEDURE procSelectT1 AS
BEGIN
    PRINT 'Now selecting from T1...';
    SELECT * FROM T1;
END;
GO
GRANT EXECUTE ON procSelectT1 to public;

-- Create special procedure for accessing T1
CREATE PROCEDURE  procSelectT1ForAlice AS
BEGIN
   IF USER_ID() <> USER_ID('Alice')
    BEGIN
        PRINT 'Only Alice can use this.';
        RETURN
    END
   EXEC procSelectT1;
END;
GO;
GRANT EXECUTE ON procSelectT1ForAlice TO PUBLIC;

-- Verify procedure works for a sysadmin user
EXEC procSelectT1ForAlice;

-- Alice still can't use the procedure yet
EXECUTE AS LOGIN = 'Alice';
    EXEC procSelectT1ForAlice;
REVERT;

-- Sign procedure to grant it SELECT permission
ADD SIGNATURE TO procSelectT1ForAlice BY CERTIFICATE csSelectT 
WITH PASSWORD = 'SimplePwd01';

-- Counter sign proc_select_t, to make this work
ADD COUNTER SIGNATURE TO procSelectT1 BY CERTIFICATE csSelectT 
WITH PASSWORD = 'SimplePwd01';

-- Now the proc works. 
-- Note that calling procSelectT1 directly still doesn't work
EXECUTE AS LOGIN = 'Alice';
    EXEC procSelectT1ForAlice;
    EXEC procSelectT1;
REVERT;

-- Cleanup
USE master;
GO
DROP DATABASE testDB;
DROP LOGIN Alice;
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