The EU GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation

Control your AMS with Open Source
RSA Conference in San Francisco
GDPR as seen by a vid from the RSA Conference

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation starts May 25, 2018. This is mostly an FYI as Tendenci “the Company” does not engage in cross site monitoring. It creeps us out a bit.

Yet while Tendenci does not do cross site tracking or individual tracking, it is possible that YOUR site does if you are using Google Analytics, DoubleClick or any number of third party add-ons and plugins.

It is up to YOU to reauthorize and comply with the data protection policies associated with third party add-ons on your site.

What DOES Tendenci do that might allow you to make a mistake in GDPR compliance?

If used as designed, it would be hard to become out of compliance as every site is in an isolated database and container. Yet there are security functions that log activity on your Tendenci site, that if you were to use it for tracking with AI or sell your data, it could potentially be against the GDPRs regulations. Talk to your attorney about this.

For example PCI best practices require dual logging and analysis of the logs for security reasons. There is no direct identifying data in web logs, but they would obviously include things like the IP address to block DDoS attacks.

These logs are never sold or accessed by anyone but our security team to trouble shoot the application and provide feedback to the administrators. Remember, you have the same user interface and front end functionality that our team does if you host with us. Zero difference. And the logs do not contain any identifying information such as an email or name.

We are NOT lawyers, Thus it is up to YOU to determine how you manage your data. We do not, nor have we ever, sold client data to third parties.

 

Keystroke Loggers are OS Agnostic

Keystroke loggers record every virtual keystroke you make. Have you run your security updates. (And Mac people? Windows people? I’m looking at you.)

From Microsoft:

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********************************************************************
Microsoft Security Update Summary for April 10, 2018
Issued: April 10, 2018
********************************************************************
This summary lists security updates released for April 10, 2018.
Complete information for the April 2018 security update release can
Be found at
<https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-us/security-guidance>.
Critical Security Updates
============================
ChakraCore
Microsoft Edge
Internet Explorer 9
Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation)
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based Systems Service Pack 1
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 (Server Core installation)
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation)
Windows 8.1 for 32-bit systems
Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems
Windows RT 8.1
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation)
Windows 10 for 32-bit Systems
Windows 10 for x64-based Systems
Windows 10 Version 1511 for 32-bit Systems
Windows 10 Version 1511 for x64-based Systems
Windows 10 Version 1607 for 32-bit Systems
Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems
Windows 10 Version 1703 for 32-bit Systems
Windows 10 Version 1703 for x64-based Systems
Windows 10 version 1709 for 32-bit Systems
Windows 10 version 1709 for x64-based Systems
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016 (Server Core installation)
Windows Server, version 1709 (Server Core Installation)
Important Security Updates
============================
Excel Services
Microsoft Excel Viewer 2007 Service Pack 3
Microsoft Excel 2007 Service Pack 3
Microsoft Excel 2010 Service Pack 2 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2010 Service Pack 2 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2013 RT Service Pack 1
Microsoft Excel 2013 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2013 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2016 (32-bit edition)
Microsoft Excel 2016 (64-bit edition)
Microsoft Excel 2016 Click-to-Run (C2R) for 32-bit editions
Microsoft Excel 2016 Click-to-Run (C2R) for 64-bit editions
Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 2 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2013 RT Service Pack 1
Microsoft Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2016 (32-bit edition)
Microsoft Office 2016 (64-bit edition)
Microsoft Office 2016 Click-to-Run (C2R) for 32-bit editions
Microsoft Office 2016 Click-to-Run (C2R) for 64-bit editions
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 3
Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010 Service Pack 2
Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2013 Service Pack 1
Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise Server 2013 Service Pack 1
Microsoft SharePoint Enterprise Server 2016
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Service Pack 2
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Service Pack 1
Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 850
Microsoft Word 2007 Service Pack 3
Microsoft Word 2010 Service Pack 2 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Word 2010 Service Pack 2 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Word 2013 RT Service Pack 1
Microsoft Word 2013 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Word 2013 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Word 2016 (32-bit edition)
Microsoft Word 2016 (64-bit edition)
Word Automation Services
Moderate Security Updates
============================
Internet Explorer 10
Other Information
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Tendenci Transparency Report – Why isn’t Wild Apricot Posting One?

red bird

Yup, AMS transparency reporting is critically important. And perhaps also equally a bit boring. After all, you are looking for what is MISSING.

In Tendenci – the Open Source AMS’ latest transparency report, yup, nothing has changed. Yea!

And given Tendenci AMS is fully open source and still building for the future , well, it’s pretty clear what our position is. We believe in open source and transparency.

What other MAJOR AMS can you self deploy on the servers of your choice? In the data center of your choice? In the country of your choice? With the encryption and firewall restrictions of YOUR CHOICE. That’s the beauty of open source.

And the price starts at zero. It. Is. Fully. Open. Source.

What is Wild Apricot’s transparency report? After all, they are recently touted as the new kid on the block. Welcome! Yet what is their position on transparency?

Disclaimer in defense of Wild Apricot – in all fairness, AMS systems take a solid 10 years to write. They really are doing a great job catching up, I’m only addressing transparency in this post.  Plus at Tendenci, we love a good strong new competitor adding value for NPOs/NGOs and Associations. We love that they are leveling up. All we’re saying is, let’s see their transparency reports? Why not be open source?

And yes, that is a challenge. Step up people!

Regarding Open Source – hey, why not support local: Tendenci pricing starts at ZERO ($0.00). Many people host in the Tendenci Cloud at AWS because we’re a good fit. Yet, our hosting pricing might not work for you in your country, right?

If so, then why not support a local developer in your community? Help build your home country’s tech sector by supporting your local developers!

Back to the business stuff – we have updated our latest transparency report. No changes. (check mark in the “no changes=good” column folks!)
https://www.tendenci.com/transparencyreporting/

Even though the competition is (mostly) NOT truly free and open source, that doesn’t mean they can’t be responsible and tell you if they have turned over your data. It does mean that any proprietary vendor offering free services is selling your data.

Is your AMS handing over, or monitoring, all of your data? Perhaps to the highest bidder or to the country of origin? You have a right to know.

Seriously, if any sector in the world needs responsible disclosure, it’s the association and non-profit/NGO sector.

Truly AMS (association management systems) / association management software in our opinion. Thus, the small team, and the large community at Tendenci, challenge our competitors to be transparent!

Yes, we understand that warrant canaries aren’t completely cut and dried. But at least a good faith effort? Why are other AMS systems not posting transparency reports?

If the FBI stated that NGOs/NPOs/Associations were the first target of the Russian propaganda campaign to influence the US elections, then I personally take issue with this.

NOTE: Propaganda and motives of foreign countries does NOT mean collusion. Collusion, and hopefully there wasn’t any, is not a topic we are addressing at all. (That’s for the politicians and the courts to figure out. We’re just programmers trying to do good.)

Thus the CHALLENGE to other AMS SaaS providers: Post your Transparency Reports!

Really, we call on all of the alternatives to Tendenci to adopt a transparency reporting policy.

Why not? Even proprietary companies can be transparent, right?

Why hide anything from your clients, open source or not? We don’t get it. End users don’t have to, and shouldn’t, tolerate hidden data disclosure.

Transparency reporting is just one more reason we’re passionate about helping associations and non-profits with their causes! We try to take the high road. Yet now, it’s not just about data collection, data mining, cross site tracking, Russian to popular AMS systems, it’s about just having integrity to tell people what is going on.

Associations, and therefore association management software, is important in every country. That’s why Tendenci is Open Source and currently supports 75 languages!

Yes, stay with your trusted local developer. Just please fast check them and demand access to your code, access to all of your data, demand access to your rights. And yes, demand transparency.

That’s how we roll at Tendenci – brutally open and honest, full access, association management. You know, kind of like WordPress is for blogs and CMS. Open!

At Tendenci, we recognize the value of the work you do. And we believe you deserve OPEN. In fact, we think open is baseline.

We hope you do too. Because Associations matter. You matter. #rockon #demandTransparency #ams #associationmanagement #asae #associationchat

TLP-WHITE – Energy Associations and Industry Contractors – Russia is targeting you

March 16, 2018: Russia is targeting our critical energy infrastructure. This security bulletin is regarding Russia targeting Energy is a TLP white.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-074A

We appreciate the assistance from the agencies allowing us to share this with our clients promptly. (Notes below **** )

Russia is targeting our critical infrastructure. The US InfoSec has partially enabled this by allowing the NSA code to be hacked and the OPM database to be breached. Not to mention facebook, equifax, chase, target, linkedin, etc.

TLP-WHITE: Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors

… This alert provides information on Russian government actions targeting U.S. Government entities as well as organizations in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors. It also contains indicators of compromise (IOCs) and technical details on the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by Russian government cyber actors on compromised victim networks.

NOTE: please note we have no evidence of anyone specifically targeting a client beyond those we have contacted directly by email or phone call. 

All of those incidents, some of which are on-going, pre-date the incidents as described in the bulletin above. Internally we monitor and address individual incidents directly.

If we (Tendenci) detect a direct threat with our security infrastructure at AWS  and redundant logging and monitoring. Know that we will contact your team. If it is more global in scope monitor our social media (this blog, tendenci twitter. Further we recognize the importance of protecting your data. And the importance of your privacy.

I will add that there is little doubt in my mind that the InfoWars don’t also extend to purchasing advertising, perhaps through a third party, on mainstream sites like Netflix, Youtube, CNN, FOX, Telemundo, etc…. they just haven’t reported it yet.

We get it. Just please, tell us that you understand it as well? This is a huge expense for us internally and it has the intended result – less innovation and more defense. More resources get tied up to maintain what the client sees as “the normal state of affairs.” 

These are the facts of our current reality. We do not have the privilege to ignore reality.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. It is great to see the support of so many different companies behind International Women’s Day. Tendenci, which has historically had far more women in the role of Programming Manager, and which currently has far more women than men on our team, we obviously agree.

Google has a great video worth watching on International Women’s Day:

We love y’all.

On a personal note (this is Ed typing) it’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since I photographed the Women’s March in San Francisco in late 2016. Y’all just keep rocking. Please!?

Photos from the Womens March in SF
Women’s March SF 2017

#peace

Tendenci AMS API Integration

Python Rules

For more on The Open Source AMS integration via API visit our AMS API Helpfile

Tendencithe Open Source AMS is unique in that it is fully open source. However at times people would prefer to use an API to pull specific information. For that Django has several API integrations for your Association Management System such as:

django-tasty-pie is a REST based API to your AMS
https://github.com/django-tastypie/django-tastypie
The Django Rest Framework is also something the Tendenci community has been discussing switching to it as well.
http://www.django-rest-framework.org/

API’s aren’t mutually exclusive after all, right? You have options.

There are legitimate reasons to use an API. Examples include integration between a legacy mainframe system, ecommerce, or a development team that has chosen a different platform such as .NET or PHP.

Tendenci doesn’t meet all of the functional requirements for everyone by design. Instead we work with great technology like machine learningThe open AMS community isn’t focused on reinventing the wheel. It just doesn’t make economic sense for a non-profit, or even a for profit company, to reinvent Amazon.com or Ebay.com. This is particularly true if you are causes-based association or non-profit given the expense.

Does Tendenci AMS work with other providers? Absolutely. Any provider with an API or that supports SSO or RSS or has their own technology like google tag manager.

Non profits don’t have money to waste. Therefore we aligned our product to major industry supported technology.

Our technology stack as of 2018 is:

  1. Tendenci
  2. Django Web Framework
  3. Javascript and jquery
  4. Bootstrap CS
  5. Python Programming Language
  6. Postgres Database with GIS
  7. Docker Containers
  8. Ubuntu

For more on The Open Source AMS integration via API visit our AMS API Helpfile or read up on everything Tendenci Works With. Or if you aren’t into open source, there are definitely alternatives to Tendenci.

If you do pick an alternative, we suggest you consider Security FIRST and go from there.

ctop – measure container cpu utilization like htop

Developers and programmers are frequently (ok, almost always) asked to accomplish the impossible yesterday. So this post is for the Tendenci developers and anyone else who uses docker containers, cgroups, jailed name spaces or similar.

Situation: You have a server that is spiking when it previously did not.

Let’s just assume you already have something like OSSEC and the ElasticSearch Stack  (ELK Stack) installed and are using a WAF/IDS/IPS endpoint. You are on top of your game. You see the errors from writing to the file system in dockers using the overlayfs file system (please no aufs, just don’t.) How to diagnose it:

“htop” is very good at showing you the issue. It (htop) is also frequently replaced by malware so double check yourself with “ctop” which most variants of common malware omit. Regardless, in this case, we can clearly see we have a stuck process. Enter “ctop” (open source like Tendenci at https://ctop.sh/ and on github at https://github.com/bcicen/ctop .

Running ctop you can quickly identify the container that is using the resources and then enter that container for further trouble shooting. “ctop” look like this:

The solution to a container over utilizing its resources is up to you and your developers. ctop is however a great way to zero in on at least which container is the problem.

In our case, a quick stop/start of the container removed the load and allowed us to do more debugging to figure out the cause. Tendenci is a mature and large codebase for association management (AMS Software) so it’s an iterative process to zero in on issues. And it can be done with the right tools.

Happy Container Utilization

This is what one of the Tendenci Cloud docker servers looked like after  debugging and killing the process causing the problem. “Yes” of course there is no replacement for “grep”. But with containers the debugging is a new art even for experienced programmers.

Hopefully this is helpful for all of the open source self-hosted Tendenci – the Open Source AMS self install developers using an AMS with 75+ languages out there.

And if you are a Python/Django developer – fork Tendenci open ams on github!

#peace

What a DDoS attack to an Association Looks Like

The following graphs show what a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on an association looks like. The names, rates and volume of the association have been blurred for security reasons. We are thankful to AWS for their own defenses in front of ours, which  help us mitigate these issues.

responding to ddos attacks as best we can
active response to mitigate attacks

Note: The  graphic above, is filtered for a 24 hour span for one client. The infrastructure is in place, and highly redundant, so we can monitor and keep our clients safe. For clients in the US or hosted in other countries (we have multiple Tendenci clouds as needed.)

Note 2: Make no mistake – If a bad-actor has the budget – they can and will purchase enough bots to take a site down. This is well documented. Even our resources at AWS are limited in what they can handle. Budget (yes BUDGET) accordingly. 

SSL Encrypting all Tendenci Hosted Sites

NOTE: This is a cross post. The original post is at: https://www.tendenci.com/news/ssl-encrypting-all-tendenci-hosted-sites/

Encrypt All The Things

To our clients. The above graph is a filtered subset of what is a *typical* day of network alerts. As the media has stated, the issue is quite real.

We greatly appreciate you and it is important to us that you remain safe. To further advance that objective in the current geopolitical environment, all hosted Tendenci sites will be encrypted going forward per our CEO.

Why? Because security. The Internet has changed and we must adapt.

Adapt? Remember when that Steve Jobs guy invented the iPhone and suddenly sites that were awesome the week before… well… they weren’t as awesome the next day? The. Next. Day. Technology is like that.

FAQs

Continue Reading: https://www.tendenci.com/news/ssl-encrypting-all-tendenci-hosted-sites/