Our October Silence?

Hi there,

I just wanted to provide you with a quick note that our blog roll’s “October silence” is nothing but just that. Some of us became a father to a son, have needed to deal with some citizen/resident paperwork, some of us choose to entertain the fresh snowfall way up the Alps, others took some vacation time, and such and so forth.

In the all-work-no-play area, I think we’ve figured out webmail decryption/signing, a responsive skin to be made available to mainstream Kolab Now, new exciting service venture definitions even though still under development, and we have now been able to deal with our midterm election anxiety (albeit November 25th could incur some implications domestically).

Incident Report: Thursday, 20:25 – Friday 01:15 UTC

Last night, a failure in the storage layer caused most of our services to be unavailable. In the week before, we replaced a failed hard drive. In the week before that, a so-called Virtual Fabric Adapter failed, causing a hypervisor to shut itself off. Since the most recent incident was the more serious downtime, that’s what we’ll start our reporting on.

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Deprecation of TLS version 1.0

For most people, it’s been looming about pretty silently over the past few years, but TLS v1.0, the oldest and earliest version of Transport Layer Security is considered deprecated. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standard (DSS) version 3.2 from April 2016 recommends full deprecation by the end of June 2018.

In compliance with these standards, while originating from the payment card industry, widely regarded to as a guiding standard for other industries, Kolab Now has disabled support for TLS v1.0.

Why? What does that mean?

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Bitcoin Payment Problems

In recent times, Bitcoin payments have suffered three major blows;

  • Our payment provider now requires customer’s wallets to use a Bitcoin Payment Protocol, while some wallets are simply not compatible,
  • Transaction confirmation times have increased, and then increased some more, both inconveniencing our users and increasing the underpay/overpay problem,
  • Transaction fees have gone through the roof, making the use of Bitcoin less and less attractive, especially for smaller transactions.

Obviously, this is causing some of our customers some grief. Some of the customers that choose to want to use Bitcoin payments exclusively will actually use profanity in expressing their frustration over these changes, but our support staff does not deserve that. I, for one, will defend my staff and cause those customers to find themselves on the losing end of this “conversation”.

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Incidents and Recurring Tasks

In the past, we’ve had several occurrences of DNSSEC signatures on DNS zones expiring — partly by not using our own product to the fullest extent of its capabilities. Embarrassing, if you ask me, but it’s more like a misappropriation of the features we did use, where we maybe should have used another feature better suited to our processes and collective work-flows.

So let me explain how we use Kolab’s features to battle our recurring task to refresh signatures, and why and how this is a task that requires manual intervention.

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