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This document outlines Connect's CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure) process. We want this process to encourage responsible disclosure of vulnerabilities, quick responses from project maintainers, and clear communication with Connect users. In designing this process, we drew from industry-standard CVE policies used by projects like Envoy and Kubernetes.


Private disclosures

Please disclose all suspected vulnerabilities privately and responsibly by emailing the list with all available details. We use the same private list for all languages, so emails should include the impacted language and any relevant platform information.

Please do report a vulnerability if:

  • You've discovered a potential security vulnerability in Connect.
  • You're unsure how a vulnerability affects Connect.
  • You've discovered a potential vulnerability in one of Connect's dependencies.

Please don't report a vulnerability if:

  • You need help applying security-related updates.
  • You need helping tuning Connect security.
  • You need help with something unrelated to security.

We commit to acknowledging and analyzing reports within 5 working days. Unless we must work with another project to ship a fix, any vulnerability information shared stays within the Connect project. We also commit to keeping the reporter updated as reports move from triage, to an identified fix, to release planning.

Once a mitigation is available to users, we prefer to fully disclose the vulnerability as soon as possible. Within reason, we work with the reporter to set a mutually-agreeable disclosure date. We may delay when we don't yet understand the vulnerability or fix fully, we haven't tested the fix thoroughly, or we need time to coordinate with vendors. Most vulnerabilities are disclosed in less than a month.

Public disclosures

If you're aware of a publicly disclosed vulnerability, please email immediately so that we can accelerate our typical response process.

Initial response

For each reported vulnerability, a Connect maintainer volunteers to coordinate our response.

  • The response coordinator makes a preliminary decision as to whether the report identifies a vulnerability. This may require asking the reporter for additional information.
  • If the report may identify a vulnerability, the response coordinator selects relevant maintainers and includes them on the email thread for further triage. Typically, this happens within a day of the initial report.
  • The response coordinator and selected maintainers work together to reproduce the report and make a final decision as to whether it identifies a vulnerability.
  • If the report identifies a vulnerability, the response coordinator, selected maintainers, and other contributors (as appropriate) develop a fix.

Fix development

At this stage, development occurs in a private fork, but fixes are still code reviewed and thoroughly tested. Once a fix is prepared in private:

  • The response coordinator and selected maintainers create a CVSS using the CVSS Calculator. They also determine the effect and severity of the vulnerability. The response coordinator makes the final call on the calculated risk, prioritizing rapid progress over perfect assessment.
  • The response coordinator requests a CVE from MITRE and includes the CVSS and release details.
  • The response coordinator and selected maintainers then open a public pull request, review the fix again, and merge it to the main branch. The fix is also backported to any other supported branches.
  • If the CVSS score is under 4.0 (a low severity score) or the assessed risk is low, the release coordinator may opt to slow the release process down in the face of holidays, limited maintainer availability, or other constraints. Any intentional slowdown is first discussed on the list.

Fix disclosure

During fix development, the response coordinator also drafts release notes for the Connect community. Once maintainers have publicly committed patches to all relevant branches, the response coordinator tags new patch releases. The notes for each release must include the CVE number, severity, impact, the location of released binaries (if any), and a mitigation guide for affected users.

GitHub release notes (and the associated notification emails) are the primary method by which security patches are communicated to users. Where possible, the response coordinator also posts annoucements on relevant mailing lists, Slack channels, and other community hubs.


Within a week of releasing the fix, the response coordinator organizes a blameless post-mortem with maintainers and any relevant contributors. Together, they produce a document outlining the response timeline, the root cause of the vulnerability, and steps to prevent similar vulnerabilities in the future. The response coordinator then publishes the retrospective to the Connect project website and updates the release notes with a link.