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IETF                                                           B. Jordan
Internet-Draft                                      Symantec Corporation
Intended status: Informational                                A. Thomson
Expires: March 16, 2019                               LookingGlass Cyber
                                                                J. Verma
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                      September 12, 2018


 Collaborative Automated Course of Action Operations (CACAO) for Cyber
                                Security
                   draft-jordan-cacao-introduction-00

Abstract

   This document describes the need for defining a standardized language
   and associated protocols to capture and automate a collection of
   coordinated cyber security actions and responses.  This collection of
   actions is called a Course of Action (COA) Project.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 16, 2019.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must



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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   3.  Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Architecture  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   6.  Deliverables  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   9.  Privacy Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13

1.  Definitions

   System: A system is an heterogeneous set of any IT capabilities
   including hardware, software, endpoints (including IoT), networks,
   data centers and platforms with no assumptions on deployment form
   factor (physical, virtual, microservices), deployment scenario,
   geographic distribution, or dispersion.

   COA: A Course of Action is a set of manual or automated actions
   applicable to a given system or human processes.

   COA Project: A COA Project is the instantiation of a sequence of COA
   actions that can be executed on a system or set of systems to protect
   it against Cyber threats and attacks.

   COA Project Template: A set of high level COA actions defined by an
   organization on how they might respond generically to a specific
   threat scenario without the specific details of the threat included.
   Example: high level steps for mitigating or remediating malware in
   general.

2.  Introduction

   Threat Actors and Intrusion Sets are constantly advancing at an
   increasing rate relative to cyber defense.  Further, cyber defenders
   typically have to manually identify and process prevention,
   mitigation, and remediation steps in order to protect their systems
   and networks and address and contain problems identified during and
   after an incident response.




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   Due to the increase and sophistication of cyber attacks from Threat
   Actors and Intrusion Sets the need for a secure mechanism that would
   enable system and network operators to respond to incidents in
   machine relevant time has raised significantly.  While some attacks
   may be well known to certain security experts and cyber researchers
   they are often not documented in a way that would enable automated
   mitigation or remediation.  A documented way of describing
   prevention, mitigation, and remediation actions is critical for cyber
   defenders to respond more quickly and reduce the exposure from an
   attack.

   In a similar manner, this will allow organizations to prevalidate the
   course of actions options and potentially simulate the course of
   actions and understand their implications in terms of potential
   overall cost, revenue loss, user experience, risk of churn, risks in
   general, and liabilities.  Indeed certain COAs might lead to radical
   mitigations in the system which might lead to more or less acceptable
   collateral damages to answer a certain cyber threat.  Like at war,
   'officers' responsible to engage or trigger the execution of a COA
   could be offered a chance to understand their options first in
   selecting the most appropriate COA.

   While many attempts have been made over the years in the IETF and
   other SDOs to address certain elements of this problem space, there
   is currently no consolidated and standardized language or means that
   would allow cyber actions to be automatically coordinated, sequenced,
   processed and shared to enable cyber defenders to respond in machine
   relevant time.  Some efforts such as BPMN have traditionally focused
   on higher-level non-cyber constructs for process definition, and
   other efforts like OpenC2 have focused purely on atomic actions, but
   none have focused on the overlay processes required for this to be
   used in a broader cyber security response use case.

   To enable and assist cyber defense, a solution needs to be created to
   securely document, share, and automate the actions needed to prevent,
   mitigate, and remediate threats.  This effort will focus on providing
   an information model, data serialization, and transport for defining,
   sharing, and processing Collaborative Automated Course of Action
   Operations (CACAO).

   Each collaborative course of action will consist of a sequence of
   cyber defense action that can be coordinated and deployed with
   verified responses across a set of heterogeneous cyber security
   systems.  The primary focus will be on the definition of the higher
   level sequence of actions (perhaps a tree or graph) and where
   possible we will leverage existing efforts that _may_ define the
   atomic actions to be included in a process or sequence.




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   A key use of collaborative courses of action is to enable more senior
   cyber defenders to document and share detailed step by step actions
   and solutions for a given threat that can be deployed en mass across
   heterogenous system and network solutions.  It also enables less
   experienced or junior personnel to have greater confidence in their
   efforts to defend their networks based on shared collaborative COA
   Projects defined by other organizations and other experts in the
   field of cyber security.  These suggested steps, that may be executed
   automatically, provided by the senior personnel can also help guide
   the junior personnel in the correct ways to handle a variety of the
   security response without requiring senior personnel being involved.

   This effort is intended to define a way for chaining atomic security
   actions together.  The atomic actions themselves could be formed from
   a variety of languages such as STIX COA; OpenC2; Cisco IOS; Juniper
   JunOS....etc.

   This effort will primarily focus on defining a semantic
   representation and information model to allow the construction of an
   Collaborative Automated Course Of Action Operations (CACAO).  Our
   secondary focus will be on defining a serialization and transport
   protocol to enable these collaborative courses of action to be used
   between systems.

3.  Examples

   The following 2 simplified examples explain collaborative COA
   Projects that are written in pseudo programmatic terms to explain how
   the project contains both human and machine defined actions that are
   executed in response to a threat.  For each project, the initial
   trigger event is defined and then followed by a set of project steps
   that can be sequential, conditional-based-flow steps, or a
   combination of both.

   Example 1: Infected Host Mitigation Project In this example, it is
   described how a collaborative COA Project defines how an organization
   may respond to threat detection on a host within their internal
   network after a specific type of threat has been detected on the
   host.  The project defines both machine and human steps to describe
   the mitigation response.

   BEGIN-PROJECT

   Project-Name: InfectedHostMitigation1 Project-Trigger-Event:

   o  Indicator indicator-8e2e2d2b-17d4-4cbf-938f-98ee46b3cd3f defines a
      command and control server based on CIDR 192.0.2.x that has been
      communicated to and from the host 198.51.100.12.



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   o  A trigger event may be defined in STIX2

   o  A trigger defines an entry point into the project steps as
      follows.

   BEGIN-STEPS

   Project-Step:

   o  Id: 1

   o  Type: Human

      *  Question: Ask the user whether they wish to review the
         mitigation procedures before proceeding?

      *  Answer-Y-or-N

         +  If Y: Proceed to Id: 2

         +  If N: Proceed to Id: 3

   Project-Step:

   o  Id: 2

   o  Type: Human

      *  Operation: Display mitigation procedures.

   Project-Step:

   o  Id:3

   o  Type: Machine

      *  Operation: Vlan-Move

      *  Variable: "HostVLANID ="infected-host.vlan

      *  Target: $$infected-host

      *  Destination: Quarantine VLAN ID

   Project-Step:

   o  Id:4




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   o  Type: Machine

      *  Operation: Host-Image

      *  Target: $$infected-host

      *  ImageName: Windows-Good-Image1

   Project-Step:

   o  Id:5

   o  Type: Machine

      *  Operation: Vlan-Move

      *  Target: $$infected-host

      *  Destination: $$HostVLANID

   END-STEPS

   END-PROJECT

   Example 2: Find and Remove Malware Project In this example, it is
   described how a Collaborative Courses of Action Project defines how
   an organization may find malware and then if found can remove the
   malware from an infected host.  The project defines both a more
   complicated sequence of machine instructions as identified by the
   MACHINE-SEQUENCE operation in Project-Step-Id{4}.

   BEGIN-PROJECT

   Project-Name: FindRemoveMalware1 Project-Trigger-Event:

   o  Indicator indicator-8e2e2d2b-17d4-4cbf-938f-98ee46b3cd3f defines a
      malware hash $$inserthash that is known to identify a specific
      malware file if found on a host system

   o  A trigger event may be defined in STIX2

   o  A trigger defines an entry point into the project steps as
      follows.

   BEGIN-STEPS

   Project-Step:




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   o  Id: 1

   o  Type: Human

      *  Question: Ask the user whether they wish to review the
         mitigation procedures before proceeding?

      *  Answer-Y-or-N

         +  If Y: Proceed to Id: 2

         +  If N: Proceed to Id: 3

   Project-Step:

   o  Id: 2

   o  Type: Human

      *  Operation: Display mitigation procedures.

   Project-Step:

   o  Id:3

   o  Type: Machine

      *  Operation: Vlan-Move

      *  Variable: "HostVLANID ="infected-host.vlan

      *  Target: $$infected-host

      *  Destination: Quarantine VLAN ID

   Project-Step:

   o  Id:4

   o  Type: Machine-Sequence {

      *  Delete run at start reg keys and triggers

      *  Reboot into SafeMode

      *  Kill process 3 then 1 then 2

      *  Delete temp files



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      *  Delete compromised files from the system

      *  Delete other Reg keys

      *  Reboot system in to safe mode

      *  Verify processes do not restart

      *  Patch AV system

      *  Run updated AV scan

      *  Patch OS

      *  Run additional on-demand special AV scanners

      *  Reboot system to normal mode }

      *  Target: $$infected-host

   Project-Step:

   o  Id:5

   o  Type: Machine

      *  Operation: Vlan-Move

      *  Target: $$infected-host

      *  Destination: $$HostVLANID

   END-STEPS

   END-PROJECTS

4.  Requirements

   Below is a list of high level requirements that this effort needs to
   address.

   o  Multiple Actions: The solution needs to support the ability to
      describe one or more actions that can be processed in a batch
      manner or as-a-group.

   o  Data Protection, Integrity and Authentication (Rules for data in
      motion and at rest): All requests and responses must be
      confidential and therefore a secure protocol should be used to



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      convey these messages such as TLS (but not limited to).  The COA
      Projects and actions must be able to be encrypted (and optionally
      signed) to ensure integrity and that they are only accessible by
      authenticated and authorized users.

   o  Globally Unique Identifiers: All transactions (requests,
      responses, and notifications) need to be able to be tracked,
      monitored, and recorded for security and operational reasons,
      including the ability to backout failed actions.  This means
      responses and notifications need a way to be tied back to the
      original request.  Globally unique identifiers apply to both the
      COA Project and the COA Actions within the project.  All
      transactions tracked, monitored and recorded will be restricted to
      the same management zone as the systems initiating the
      transactions and operating on the results.  All systems operating
      in that management zone will support a common and agreed set of
      privacy associated with those transactions such that no concerns
      over loss of privacy or unexpected data exposure occurs.

   o  Reporting: Provide the ability to gather single and batch reports
      of events for responses.  All report events must have a timestamp,
      identifier of original request or rule causing event, and option
      for a full dump of matching data (network, endpoint config....etc)
      to be included in the event record.  The report could be either
      synchronously requested or be an asynchronous event (syslog) with
      periodic updates.

   o  Sequences of Atomic Actions: The ability to define an ordered list
      of atomic actions that must be executed as a combined set rather
      than as a sequence.

   o  Projects & Project Templates: These should support actions for
      machine automation, human actions / intervention, and high level
      conceptual actions.

   o  Customization: Provide the option to include custom actions in a
      batch or set of atomic actions.

   o  Conditional Logic: This solution needs the ability to include
      action sequences that can support conditional logic, logical and
      comparative operators, and behavioral logic.

   o  Project Testing: Ability to support what-if deployments where a
      defined COA Projects can be verified before deploying to a real
      system or environment, and perhaps be able to identify all the
      organizations that have tested it and verified it.





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   o  Auditability: The solution needs the ability to provide full
      confirmation (tracking and logging) of each COA and each action at
      every transaction state.

   o  Digital Signature Chain / Attribution with Identified Signed
      Topic: The solution needs the ability to track multiple digital
      signatures to show a chain of trust where it identifies the
      specific Signed Topic that is being signed.  This solution should
      also support multiple independent organizations signing and
      verifying the correctness, accuracy, and validity of the COA
      Project or individual action where the Signed Topic being signed
      by that independent entity is specified.

   o  Input: One or more technical indicators, prioritization
      indicators, and rule names (optional).

   o  Transport Methods: This solution needs to support the ability for
      clients to send COAs directly to an end device (request/response)
      and also to a communications channel (publish/subscribe).

   o  Versioning: The solution needs to support both incremental
      versioning and semantic versioning, along with assertions that the
      COA works with certain products.  This will enable support of
      multiple versions of a COA across products so that not all systems
      are required to be the same version to implement COA Projects.
      Newer COA Projects will provide information that allows consumers
      to relate the new version to prior versions.

   o  Transactions: Needs the ability for systems to have the option to
      support both atomic and non-atomic transactions.

   o  System Targeting: The solution needs the ability to identify the
      type, version, patch level of one or more systems that this COA is
      applicable for.

   o  Project Versioning: Need ability to version (and track) COA
      Projects and Templates

   o  Data Markings: Need ability to support data marking at a COA
      Project level such as the Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) for the
      project.

   o  Command and Control Management Separation (Definition vs Execution
      Environment): A COA Project (and the contained atomic COA actions)
      may be defined in one system by one or more authors, but the COA
      project may be executed in an operational environment where the
      systems and users of those systems have different authentication
      and authorizations for the COA.  In order for the COA Project to



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      execute correctly it must have authorization in the operational
      environment where it is executed.  Therefore the credentials of
      the authors should not be relied upon to execute correctly in the
      execution environment.  Also, the security environment executing
      the COA Project will likely be different from where the COA
      project was defined.

   o  Integration: Ensure that COA Projects can be used in and work with
      existing threat intelligence data models, for example STIX.

   o  Flexibility: Allow the COA Project to benefit and leverage
      existing capabilities available in 'the system' such as atomic
      ways to exchange security commands 'a la openc2', or read from
      available security capabilities in a standard way 'a la i2nsf' to
      understand what it can actually do or to allow conditional COA
      sequences

5.  Architecture

   A Collaborative Course of Action workflow will consist of several
   components, including at least:


   +----------+       +----------+       +----------+       +----------+
   |  Define  |  -->  |  Verify  |  -->  | Deliver  |  -->  | Execute  |
   | COA Proj |  <--  | COA Proj |       | COA Proj |       | COA Proj |
   +----------+       +----------+       +----------+       +----------+
        ^                   ^                 ^                 ^
        |                   |                 |                 |
        |              +--------------------------+             |
        <--------      | Monitoring and Reporting |     -------->
                       +--------------------------+



   o  Define: Where a COA Project is defined based on various inputs
      both automated and manually derived.

   o  Verify: Where a COA Project is reviewed for accuracy, correctness,
      and is properly defined to execute correctly in a target
      environment without making any changes to the target environment.

   o  Deliver: Where a COA Project is distributed to the systems that
      will execute the COA Project.  Distribution includes checking that
      the COA Project has been deployed correctly and has followed the
      rules defined within the project for atomic transactions.





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   o  Execute: Where a COA Project is evaluated by one or more security
      infrastructure systems and execution events are communicated to
      the COA Project monitoring step.  It can run either in full
      execution or in verification mode.

   o  Monitoring: Where a COA Project execution is monitored and metrics
      are determined on the COA Project to enable further refinement or
      improvement to the COA Project definition.

6.  Deliverables

   This effort will need to produce and deliver the following documents:

   1.  An overview and architecture document

   2.  A COA Project data model in JSON / CBOR

   3.  Define how COA Projects will be distributed between each system
       within the process including leveraging existing transport
       mechanisms and any new APIs/Protocols required.

7.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

8.  Security Considerations

   The solution described by this document provides a mechanism to
   define a series of actions that can be applied to a network or host
   system to prevent, mitigate, or remediate some threat.  Discussion is
   needed about how to protect such a mechanism and the information it
   is managing from unauthorized access or disclosure.

   In a principle of "who guards the guards" ("quis custodiet Ipsos
   custodes" Juvenal, Satire VI, lines 347-348) it is essential to armor
   the COA service against itself and to consider a COA-SELF project for
   consistency and coherency where the target system of the COA is the
   COA service itself.

   A breach in the COA service would break the integrity of an entire
   target system, potentially at extra large scale.

9.  Privacy Considerations

   Discussion is also needed about privacy considerations around how the
   endpoint devices and systems are identified and to ensure that any
   commands are encoded in a safe way and if the COA Project needs to
   collect private data it is still compliant to privacy regulations and



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   offers all the mechanisms to guarantee compliance to such frameworks
   such as auditability, security, encryption, right to be forgotten,
   consents, etc.

Contributors

   o  Allen Hadden
      IBM
      ahadden@us.ibm.com

   o  David Waltermire
      NIST
      david.waltermire@nist.gov

   o  Efrain Ortiz
      Symantec
      efrain_ortiz@symantec.com

   o  Jason Keirstead
      IBM
      jason.keirstead@ca.ibm.com

   o  Jason Webb
      LookingGlass Cyber
      jwebb@lookingglasscyber.com

   o  Kyle Mackenzie
      JPMC
      Mackenzie.kyle@jpmorgan.com

   o  Subodh Kumar
      JPMC
      subodh.kumar@jpmorgan.com

   o  Swaroop Pradhan
      JPMC
      swaroop.s.pradhan@jpmorgan.com

   o  Vivek Jain
      JPMC
      vivek.jain@jpmchase.com

Authors' Addresses








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   Bret Jordan
   Symantec Corporation
   350 Ellis Street
   Mountain View  CA 94043
   USA

   Email: bret_jordan@symantec.com


   Allan Thomson
   LookingGlass Cyber
   10740 Parkridge Blvd, Suite 200
   Reston  VA 20191
   USA

   Email: athomson@lookingglasscyber.com


   Jyoti Verma
   Cisco Systems
   170 West Tasman Dr.
   San Jose  CA 95134
   USA

   Email: jyoverma@cisco.com


























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