Hardening the Collector Episode 1: A new default bind address

The OpenTelemetry Collector recently went through a security audit sponsored by the CNCF, facilitated by OSTIF, and performed by 7ASecurity. As part of this process we published a security advisory related to a DoS vulnerability that was fully addressed in v0.102.1.

The security audit also motivated us to think about ways to harden official Collector builds and have a more secure default configuration. We are working on adopting several best practices that were recommended in the audit to achieve this and we will be publishing a series of blog posts to keep the community informed. While we expect the report to be made public soon, we can already say that we are very satisfied with the confirmation that the Collector has proven to be very secure, highlighting the secure coding practices and processes we already have in place.

One of the changes we have been working on is changing the default bind address for Collector servers, such as those exposed by receivers or extensions that listen for incoming connections. Up to v0.103.0, the default behavior was to listen on all network interfaces by using the unspecified address on server addresses. While this is a convenient default for test cases and development environments, it is not the recommended practice for production environments, since it can expose the Collector servers to unnecessary risks. Starting on v0.104.0 the default bind address becomes localhost for all Collector servers.

It has been a long way to get here. We started discussing this in relation to CVE-2022-27664 on v0.63.0 (September 2022), when we added a warning and improved our documentation. On v0.94.0 (September 2023), we decided to add a feature gate, component.UseLocalHostAsDefaultHost to allow users to opt-in to the new behavior. Finally, this feature gate was enabled by default on v0.104.0 (June 2024) motivated by the security audit and CVE-2024-36129.

What have we changed?

Starting on v0.104.0, the default bind address of all servers exposed by the Collector are localhost instead of For example, the OTLP receiver default endpoints for OTLP/gRPC and OTLP/HTTP are now localhost:4317 and localhost:4318 respectively. The full list of components affected by this change is:

When in doubt, check the specific components’ documentation to see the new default values.

Starting on the OpenTelemetry Collector Helm Chart v0.47.1 and on v0.87.0 of the OpenTelemetry Collector official Docker images we updated the default configuration for all components to explicitly set the endpoints to an explicit value.

What does it mean to me?

If you are relying on the default configuration you may need to start explicitly setting the endpoint on your Collector components. For example, if you are using the following configuration with the OTLP receiver:


You may now need to explicitly set the otlp::protocols::grpc::endpoint configuration setting:

        endpoint: ${env:HOST_IP}:4317

where the HOST_IP environment variable is set to the bind address you want to use (for example, status.podIP on Kubernetes).

Because of the changes in the Collector Helm Chart and Collector Docker images you are not affected if using the default configuration on either of these.

How can I prepare for this change?

Since v0.63.0 the Collector logs a warning related to this when you have an endpoint using the address. Before upgrading, you can check for this warning and address it. From v0.94.0 to v0.103.0 you can also preview the impact of this change by enabling the component.UseLocalHostAsDefaultHost feature gate.

Addressing this change should be straightforward, however, due to the number of components that are impacted, starting on v0.104.0 you can temporarily opt out of this change by disabling the component.UseLocalHostAsDefaultHost feature gate so you can work on addressing this at your own pace. This feature gate will be marked as stable in a future Collector release, so we recommend addressing this as soon as possible.

What’s next?

As we work on adopting the best practices recommended by the security audit, we will be publishing more blog posts to keep the community informed. This will include hardening the Collector binaries on macOS and further the default behavior of Collector servers. Stay tuned!