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I'm working on a website that is interested in adding chat features. I did some research, and ended up installing the DrupalChat module, and its dependencies. After configuring the module, I realized it would not work for anonymous users unless I also installed the Session API module.

My concern is that on the Session API module information page, it displays a banner stating that

This project is not covered by Drupal’s security advisory policy.

I have not run into this issue before, so I'm not sure how leery I should be to use the Session API module?

Does this mean it's likely to receive a future update to address pending security issues? Should I use some other method of adding chat to the web site? If so, any recommendations?

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Basically all this means is that the module maintainers haven't opted into Security Advisory Coverage yet. Seems they haven't even opened an application in the review queue.

I asked them to do so in a new issue. As also Acquia does not recommend implementing modules not covered under the Security Advisory Policy (article). Pantheon takes that as a red flag (article), too.

But I wouldn't be worried too much. Just remember to always update this module first. But yeah, I'm not a security expert :)

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The Drupal Security Advisory is a program of the Drupal community (Drupal Security Team) that is dedicated to review reported security flaws, contributed code, and to manage fixing identified security issues and releasing scheduled security updates (in the case of contributed modules together with its maintainers).

For contributed modules, opting into security advisory means, that stable releases of the module may be reviewed for obvious security flaws by the security team. (Note, only stable releases are covered by security advisory, not development versions, or alpha/beta/rc pre-release versions.) Also, available security updates/fixes will be announced within the Security announcements that conveniently are available as RSS feeds and can be subscribed to on Twitter.

New module maintainers can optionally opt-in their module(s) to that program, after they have proven a basic understanding of Drupal Coding Standards and best practices by applying with one of their modules within the Security Advisory Applications queue. The process can sometimes take several months to complete, as it is based on voluntarily conducted reviews by the Drupal developer community and a final approval by a dedicated team of Drupal webmasters that have to take that time for reviewing the source code as well.

A module that still has the banner stating there is no security advisory coverage means that the maintainers are new to the Drupal eco system and therefore do not automatically have the right to opt in as they did not undergo the above mentioned review. (Or they just did not opt into security advisory because there is no stable release of their module yet, or they just forgot about it.)

Now to the security concerns:

A module without security advisory coverage is not automatically bad or has security issues. It may receive bug fixes and further features by its maintainers and/or contributions (patches) from the Drupal community, as all other modules on drupal.org do.

Good indicators always are the module's usage statistics, the activity within its issue queue, and the maintenance status stated on the module page.

A module with high usage is likely to not having many (unidentified) bugs or other issues left. With modules having a low usage (that exist for very special use cases), I'd always go for manual own code reviews to check the code quality and what the module actually does.

As security updates will not be announced within the security announcements, you will want to shortlist/follow the issue queues of any such modules you use within your projects, in order to keep a close eye on important issues/fixes coming up.

  • "A module with high usage is likely to not having many (unidentified) bugs or other issues left." - This is not necessarily true. Drupal core just had a major security bug come up that has been in the code base for many years without being noticed. – rooby Jun 1 '18 at 0:37
  • "I'd always go for manual own code reviews to check the code quality and what the module actually does." Without good technical knowledge this is not useful. Even then, there are bugs you might likely miss, eg. the recent DRupal core bug. – rooby Jun 1 '18 at 0:38
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    Appreciate your review. Yes, English is not my first language, so I changed some wording now. - For the manual own reviews: This is what I do. It may not be useful to users that aren't capable of doing so on their own. So they should consider getting professional help or taking the risk. Never said "trust blindly". Even modules/core with security advisory coverage might have issues overseen for now. – Mario Steinitz Jun 1 '18 at 0:45

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