Configure anonymous authenticationedit

Elastic APM agents can send unauthenticated (anonymous) events to the APM Server. An event is considered to be anonymous if no authentication token can be extracted from the incoming request. This is useful for agents that run on clients, like the Real User Monitoring (RUM) agent running in a browser, or the Android or iOS/Swift agent running in a user application.

Enable anonymous authentication in the APM Server to allow the ingestion of unauthenticated client-side APM data while still requiring authentication for server-side services.

Example configuration:

apm-server.auth.anonymous.enabled: true
apm-server.auth.anonymous.allow_agent: [rum-js]
apm-server.auth.anonymous.allow_service: [my_service_name]
apm-server.auth.anonymous.rate_limit.event_limit: 300
apm-server.auth.anonymous.rate_limit.ip_limit: 1000

All anonymous access configuration is ignored if authenticated communication is disabled.

Real User Monitoring (RUM)edit

If an API key or secret token is configured, then anonymous authentication must be enabled to collect RUM data. For this reason, anonymous auth will be enabled automatically if Enable RUM is set to true, and Anonymous Agent access is not explicitly defined.

See Real User Monitoring (RUM) for additional RUM configuration options.

Mitigating malicious requestsedit

There are a few configuration variables that can mitigate the impact of malicious requests to an unauthenticated APM Server endpoint.

Use the Allowed anonymous agents and Allowed services configs to ensure that the and of each incoming request match a specified list.

Additionally, the APM Server can rate-limit unauthenticated requests based on the client IP address (client.ip) of the request with Event limit. This allows you to specify the maximum number of requests allowed per unique IP address, per second.

Deriving an incoming request’s client.ip addressedit

The remote IP address of an incoming request might be different from the end-user’s actual IP address, for example, because of a proxy. For this reason, the APM Server attempts to derive the IP address of an incoming request from HTTP headers. The supported headers are parsed in the following order:

  1. Forwarded
  2. X-Real-Ip
  3. X-Forwarded-For

If none of these headers are present, the remote address for the incoming request is used.

Using a reverse proxy or load balanceredit

HTTP headers are easily modified; it’s possible for anyone to spoof the derived client.ip value by changing or setting, for example, the value of the X-Forwarded-For header. For this reason, if any of your clients are not trusted, we recommend setting up a reverse proxy or load balancer in front of the APM Server.

Using a proxy allows you to clear any existing IP-forwarding HTTP headers, and replace them with one set by the proxy. This prevents malicious users from cycling spoofed IP addresses to bypass the APM Server’s rate limiting feature.

Configuration referenceedit

Anonymous Agent accessedit

Enable or disable anonymous authentication. Default: false (disabled). (bool)

APM Server binary



Anonymous Agent access

Allowed anonymous agentsedit

A list of permitted APM agent names for anonymous authentication. Names in this list must match the agent’s Default: [rum-js, js-base] (only RUM agent events are accepted). (array)

APM Server binary



Allowed Anonymous agents

Allowed servicesedit

A list of permitted service names for anonymous authentication. Names in this list must match the agent’s This can be used to limit the number of service-specific indices or data streams created. Default: Not set (any service name is accepted). (array)

APM Server binary



Allowed Anonymous services

IP limitedit

The number of unique IP addresses to track in an LRU cache. IP addresses in the cache will be rate limited according to the Event limit setting. Consider increasing this default if your application has many concurrent clients. Default: 1000. (int)

APM Server binary



Anonymous Rate limit (IP limit)

Event limitedit

The maximum number of events allowed per second, per agent IP address. Default: 300. (int)

APM Server binary



Anonymous Event rate limit (event limit)