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INCH Working Group                                       Yuri Demchenko
Internet Draft                                  University of Amsterdam
Category: Informational                                   Hiroyuki Ohno
Expires: February 6, 2006                                  WIDE Project
                                                          Roman Danyliw
                                                          Glenn M Keeni
                                                   Cyber Solutions Inc.

                                                      September 7, 2005

  Requirements for the Format for INcident information Exchange (FINE)

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   Copyright Notice

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      Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).  All Rights Reserved.


   The purpose of the Format for Incident report Exchange (FINE) is to
   facilitate the exchange of incident information among Computer
   Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) and involved parties.  A
   common and well-defined format will help in the exchange of Incident
   related information across organizations, regions and countries.
   FINE will also be useful for reactionary analysis of current security
   incidents and proactive identification of trends that can lead to
   incident prevention.  This document describes the high-level
   functional requirements for an Incident Report Exchange Format.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction ...............................................  3
   2.  Incident Handling Framework ................................  3
   3.  General Requirements .......................................  5
   4.  Format Requirements ........................................  6
   5.  Communication Mechanism Requirements .......................  7
   6.  Content Requirements .......................................  7
   7.  Security Considerations ....................................  8
   8.  IANA Considerations ........................................  8
   9.  References .................................................  9
  10.  Acknowledgements ........................................... 10
  11.  Authors' Addresses ......................................... 10
  Full Copyright Statement .......................................  11
  Appendix: History of Changes

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1. Introduction

   Computer security incidents occur across administrative domains,
   often spanning different organizations and national borders.  Hence,
   a response requiring coordination and collaboration between the
   involved parties and the responsible Computer Security Incident
   Response Teams (CSIRTs) is often required.  The basis for this
   interaction is often the various data and statistics describing the
   nature of the incident.  This information, referred to as an incident
   report in this document, supports response activity to the specific
   incident, but may also be used for historical analysis or proactive

   This document defines the high-level functional requirements for a
   format that would support the exchange of incident reports. The
   abstract format being discussed is referred to as the Format for
   INcident report Exchange (FINE). The implementation of the
   requirements, the format itself is not provided in this document.

   The intent of FINE is to enable quick and effective response to
   incidents by improving the ability of  CSIRTs to exchange and process
   incident reports.  This will be achieved by ensuring that FINE
         +  makes the semantics of the report unambiguous;
         +  ensures the data has a well defined syntax; and
         +  supports easy categorization and statistical analysis.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14, RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

2. Incident Handling Framework

2.1. Descriptive Terms
   For the purpose of clarity, certain commonly used terms from the
   operational domain of CSIRTs are defined here. These are based on
   related documents [7, 8, 9, 10, 11]

2.1.1. Event
   An event is an occurrence in a system or network that may be of
   interest and warrant attention. An event is not necessarily malicious
   or deliberate.

2.1.2. Attack
   An attack is a series of events caused either directly or indirectly
   by a source that violates the security policy of the target.  These
   violations may include a compromise of a user account, denial-of-
   service, information theft, etc.

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2.1.3. Source
   The origin of an attack as described by a host, user account,
   computer program, network address, person, or organization.

2.1.4. Target
   The target of an attack as described by a host, user account,
   computer program, network address, person, or organization.

2.1.5. Computer security incident
   A computer security incident, referred to as incident, is a set of
   one or more related attacks identified by a CSIRT.

2.1.6. Incident Report
   An incident report is the collection of information describing an

2.1.7. CSIRT
   A Computer Security Incident Response Team, CSIRT, is an individual
   or a group of individuals that has the responsibility to coordinate
   and support the response to incidents in a defined constituency [7].
   A CSIRT creates, receives, processes and maintains incident reports.

2.1.8. Impact
   An impact describes the consequence of an incident on a target
   expressed in terms relevant to a user community.

2.2 The Operational Model

   Incident reports are an important subset of information exchanged
   between a CSIRT and its constituency or other CSIRTs. These reports
   form the basis for resolving and understanding activity in a
   constituency. A CSIRT may create an incident report when an incident
   is reported; or may receive incident reports from, and send them to,
   other CSIRTs. As analysis is performed and investigation progresses,
   more information about an incident may be discovered causing updates
   to previously sent incident reports to be exchanged.

   The creation and exchange of incident reports is often driven by a
   work-flow process that prioritizes and manages the information flow
   in the CSIRT.  These systems often associate CSIRT personnel with
   particular incidents or maintain status onto a particular
   investigation. FINE does not provide a representation for these
   internal processes.

   FINE is a representation for the data exchanged between external
   parties. In order to integrate FINE into CSIRT operations, entities
   will have to use an interface to convert to and from the internal

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   data representation (of a propriety work-flow application or database
   for the incident report) and FINE. Hence, the sender of an incident
   report must convert from the local format to FINE, while the
   recipient must translate FINE back into its own local format.  The
   communicating CSIRTs need not have the same local format for storing
   incident reports.  This information exchange is depicted in Figure 1.

                  CSIRT                          CSIRT
   +------------------+                          +------------------+
   |                  |                          |                  |
   | +--------+   +---------+              +---------+   +--------+ |
   | |        |<--|Interface|<--Incident-->|Interface|-->|        | |
   | |Incident|   +---------+    Report    +---------+   |Incident| |
   | | Report |       |                          |       | Report | |
   | |Database|       |     |===  FINE  ===|     |       |Database| |
   | |        |       |                          |       |        | |
   | +--------+       |                          |       +--------+ |
   |                  |                          |                  |
   +------------------+                          +------------------+

                   Fig. 1 Operational Model for FINE

3. General Requirements

3.1 FINE SHALL reference and use previously published RFCs where

3.2 FINE MUST have well defined semantics and provide a standard
   mechanism for extensibility.

   The data elements of the various components of FINE should be typed,
   and the meaning should be well specified.  Likewise, there should be
   a standardized method to address representing data not defined in the
   data model.

4. Format Requirements

4.1 FINE SHALL support full internationalization and localization.

   A significant part of the incident report may comprise of natural
   language text. Since some incidents may involve CSIRTs from different
   countries and geographic regions, FINE must have provisions for using

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   local character sets and encodings.

   In cases where local (non-standard) character sets and encodings are
   used, the data elements that carry encoding-sensitive information
   should be clearly indicated. Furthermore, it should be possible to
   preserve the content of these elements when transferring an incident

4.2 FINE MUST allow multilingual reports.

   Different parts of the incident report may be written in a different
   natural language.  Furthermore, FINE must support multiple
   translations of the same part of a report.

4.3 FINE MUST support aggregation and filtering of incident report data.

   The structure of the FINE data elements and their associated
   semantics must support aggregation and filtering.

4.4 FINE MUST be able to document the evolution of an incident.

   An incident report may evolve with time as further investigation is
   carried out on the incident.  Earlier information may be modified and
   new information may be added.  FINE must support the documentation of
   these changes.

4.5 FINE MUST support specifying a granular access restriction policy
   on subsets of the incident report.

   Various parts of an incident report will have information of varying
   degrees of sensitivity and will need to be handled with the
   appropriate level of confidentiality. It must be possible to specify
   the degree of confidentiality for subsets of the incident report.
   With this information applications can then implement different
   levels of access restrictions for the different components of the
   incident report.

4.6 FINE SHOULD allow the application of external mechanisms to
   support authenticity, integrity, and non-repudiation checks of
   incident reports.

   FINE itself need not guarantee authenticity, integrity, or non-
   repudiation. However, the specification must detail a standardized
   mechanism to ensure these properties.

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5. Communication Mechanism Requirements

5.1 The communication mechanisms MUST NOT solely be used to ensure the
   security of a FINE incident report.

   Incident report exchange will normally be conducted using standard
   communication protocols and exchange mechanisms, for example, e-mail,
   HTTP, FTP, XML Web Services, etc. FINE must not rely on communication
   mechanisms or specific applications to ensure authenticity, integrity
   and/or confidentiality of an incident report. Provisions for
   authenticity, integrity and confidentiality should be made in FINE.

6. Content Requirements

6.1 FINE MUST be flexible enough to support various degrees of
   completeness, while still clearly defining the minimal
   information required for describing an incident.

6.2 FINE MUST support globally unique identifiers for each incident

   It should be possible to reference an incident report unambiguously
   using a globally unique identifier. Furthermore, it should be
   possible to derive the creator of the incident report from this

6.3 FINE MUST support the naming of the source and target.

6.4 FINE MUST support the description of various aspects of the
   source and target.

6.5 FINE MUST support the description of the methodology used by
   the attacker.

   Well-known classifications or enumeration schemes should be used to
   describe the attack that caused the incident.

6.6 FINE SHOULD support the identification of the creator of the
    incident report.

   FINE should indicate the source of each component of the incident
   report if it is different from the creator (e.g., the team handling
   the incident).

6.7 FINE SHOULD support the inclusion or referencing of information
   external to the incident report.

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6.8 FINE MUST support natural language descriptions of the incident.

6.9 FINE SHOULD support references to the appropriate advisories
   from coordination and analysis centers.

6.10 FINE SHOULD support a description of the impact of the incident.

6.11 FINE SHOULD support a description of the actions taken during the
   course of handling the incident.

6.12 FINE MUST use a standardized time specification.

   Incident reports should represent time in such a way that it is
   possible to easily compare information reported from different

   Different systems will support different time granularities. FINE
   should be able to support incident reports from various systems
   irrespective of their time granularity.

7. Security Considerations

   There are no explicit security considerations for this document since
   no protocol or information model is specified.  However, a number of
   security relevant requirements are outlined for FINE implementers.
   By its nature, FINE will represent sensitive information.  Hence,
   implementers should ensure support for access restriction
   (requirement 4.5); transport agnostic security guarantees
   (requirement 5.1); and confidentiality, integrity, and non-
   repudiation (requirement 4.6).

8. IANA Considerations

   This document requires no action from IANA.

9. References

9.1 Normative References

   [1]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
   Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997

9.2 Informative References

   [2]  Arvidsson, J., Cormack, A., Demchenko, Y. and Meijer J.,

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   "TERENA's Incident Object Description and Exchange Format
   Requirements", RFC 3067, February 2001

   [3] Danyliw, R., Meijer, J. and Demchenko, Y., "Incident Object
   Description and Exchange Format Data Model and Extensible Markup
   Language (XML) Document Type Definition", work in progress (currently

   [4]  Taxonomy of the Computer Security Incident related terminology -

   [5]  Wood, M., "Intrusion Detection Exchange Format Requirements",
   work in progress (currently <draft-ietf-idwg-requirements-12.txt>).

   [6]  Brezinski, D.,  Killalea, T., "Guidelines for Evidence
   Collection and Archiving".  BCP 55, RFC 3227, February 2002.

   [7]  Brownlee, N. and E. Guttman, "Expectations for Computer
   Security Incident Response", BCP 21, RFC 2350, June 1998.

   [8]  Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary", FYI 36, RFC 2828,
   May 2000.

   [9]  "Establishing a Computer Security Incident Response Capability
   (CSIRC)", NIST Special Publication 800-3, November 1991

   [10] West-Brown, M., Stikvoort, D., Kossakowski, K., Killcrece G.,
   Ruefle, R., Zajicek, M., "Handbook for Computer Security Incident
   Response Teams (CSIRTs)", CMU/SEI-98-HB-002, Carnegie Mellon
   University, Pittsburgh, PA, April 2003.

   [11] Howard, J. and  Longstaff, A.,  "A Common Language for Computer
   Security Incidents", Sandia Report: SAND98-8667, Sandia National
   Laboratories, October 1998.

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10. Acknowledgments.

   The precursor of this document is "RFC3067 TERENA's Incident Object
   Description Exchange Format Requirements" [2] which is based on the
   work done at Incident Object Description Exchange Format Working
   Group at TERENA. Subsequent work and discussion have been carried
   out in the INCH-WG and in the WIDE-WG on Network Management and

   The following individuals, in alphabetic order, have made substantial
   contribution to this document
         Hiroyuki Kido
         Kathleen M. Moriarty

11. Authors' Addresses:

   Yuri Demchenko
   University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
   Email: demch@chello.nl

   Hiroyuki Ohno
   WIDE Project, Japan
   Email: hohno@wide.ad.jp

   Roman Danyliw
   CERT Coordination Center
   4500 Fifth Ave.
   Pittsburgh, PA  15213
   Email: rdd@cert.org

   Glenn Mansfield Keeni
   Cyber Solutions Inc.
   Sendai, Japan
   Email: glenn@cysols.com

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                        Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).  This document is subject
   to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
   except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

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Intellectual Property

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Appendix - non-normative.

   Major Changes (reverse count)
   Information about changes to the document since publishing -00
   version will be documented here.

   Major changes in version-05
   1) In 2.1 the definitions have been rearranged. Incident Report
      (earlier 2.1.8 have been moved to 2.1.6)
   2) Section 2.2, Operational model, revised
   3) Editorial nits
   4) IDnits
   5) Added Roman Danyliw to the authors list.

   Major changes in version -04
   1) Operational model rewritten
   2) Editorial nits
   3) IPR notice updated

   Major changes in version -03 (Second revision)
   1) title changed to
      Requirements for the Format for INcident information Exchange
   2) editorial nits
   3) RFC2119 key words used
   4) added description to 4.6
   5) reformatted 4.7 and 5.1 to have single statement requirements
      followed by description of the requirements.
   6) added an example to 4.2
   7) moved 6.13 to Format requirements as 4.8
   8) updated references #3, #5, #10
   9) updated section 2.2

   Major changes in version -03 (First revision)
   1) editorial nits
   2) in Security Considerations section an example is added to explain
      the impact of the contents of the IR on the security and privacy
      of individuals of organization.
   3) Section 3 is deleted

   Major changes in version -02

   1) clarified definitions of some terms. Added a few definitions.

   2) in 5.1, added requirement for handling non-standard/local
      encoding and/or character codes.

   3) in 5.7, added requirement that multiple versions of the report

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      should be consistent

   4) in 7.5, added requirement that the source of each component of
      the Incident report must be identified (if different from the
      creator of the Incident report).

   5) some editorial nits are fixed.

   Major changes in version -01

   1) clarified definition of some terms - still in the process, needs
   more discussion with concerned parties.

   2) re-written section 2. Operational model

   3) added text about multilingual support for non-utf-8 character sets

   to item "5.1 FINE shall support full internationalization and
   localization" - results of discussion at IETF-56

   4) included clear statement about unique identification of the
   Incident report to item "5.1 FINE shall support full
   internationalization and localization."

   5) added item about the possibility of Incident description in
   natural language:

   7.7 The FINE may contain a description of the Incident or comprising
   security events in a natural language.

   6) requirement about describing impact of the Incident extended (item
   7.9) with recommendation to provide guidelines to describe the impact
   on the target to ensure a uniform interpretation of the description.

   7) item 7.11 about time normalization extended with the possibility
   to describe time offset when normalization is not possible.

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