There is a more fundamental issue than the technology stack. I'll phrase this in terms of economics. Is the CTI working group managing to Supply or Demand or hopefully some of both?*
This debate while productive to a point is largely about how to increase the Supply of signalling technology on the wire, not the Demand to manage complex threats by people trying to avoid being victimized. The former is about what is put into products
by suppliers to make their life easier and the later is what customer will pay for to solve their problems.
Yes they both matter but by volume the vast amount of electrons on the list have been dealing with Supply side needs not Demand needs. I am all about the Demand...
Lets have some discussion on how to address the needs for Demand side of the story too.
*IF* we took what existed now, tweaked, and JSON'd it we don't solve the problem of IOCs still being the bulk of the CTI story. This does not help our CTI standards tackle how we leave on the table ways into increase adversary
costs by making their methodology not the IOCs the thing the miscreants can't reuse because the ecosystem knows how to counter it via sharing.
* I am not an economist and I did not stay at whatever hotel makes you an expert on everything so take the metaphor with several grains of salt..
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From: Jordan, Bret <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 10:34 AM
To: Ivan Kirillov
Cc: Jonathan Bush (DTCC); Jason Keirstead; Aharon Chernin; Mark Clancy; email@example.com
Subject: Re: [cti] Thoughts on STIX and some of the other threads on this list
I agree 100%... Lets define a set of core values for this group that include things like simplicity and one-way-of-doing-things...
Just the act of moving to JSON will cause a lot of simplification to happen, we learned this when we moved TAXII from XML to JSON. Now JSON TAXII is so MUCH easier to understand and use.
Lets start today, let commit today, let move this group forward. Lets make it so easy for the community to adopt our standards that there is no reason for them not to.
Bret Jordan CISSP
Director of Security Architecture and Standards | Office of the CTO
Blue Coat Systems
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What about having just python-stix/cybox serve as the reference implementation? I guess I just don’t see why we must have an equivalent implementation for every mainstream
language, especially if we make implementation easier by eliminating some of the existing ambiguities in complexities in the language.
On that note, while all of the talk around JSON is great (and I'm personally for it), it really needs to happen in tandem with reduction in complexity/ambiguity, as
otherwise we’re just pushing around the same flawed data structures but in a different serialization. Accordingly, if can come to an agreement that this (JSON/other serializations + simplification) is one of the CTI’s priorities for the next release of STIX
and CybOX, it would likely go a long way towards alleviating some of the broader community’s concerns around our efforts.
> on behalf of "Bush, Jonathan"
Monday, August 31, 2015 at 9:55 AM
Bret Jordan, Aharon Chernin, Mark Clancy, "firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: [cti] Thoughts on STIX and some of the other threads on this list
Very fair point Jason – Do we have anyone like Mitre contracted who can maintain a set of libraries? That could be a heavy lift.
If we have that, I would suggest we work with them to build out the full functionality we need, not just skeleton libraries like we have now.
If we don’t have that, I would go back to the thought that our scope should be limited to a conceptual model only. We have to make a choice here, and it has big implications.
/ If we abstract out the complexity what we have to ‘learn’ is a set of API calls. This is how modern software is built – Not on data formats but on API formats. /
This sounds good in principle, but in order for this to work in practice the OASIS CTI would have to be responsible not just for the STIX standard, but also reference bindings and documentation for STIX in several mainstream languages, I would say Python, Java,
and C++ at a minimum. This would be a very large body of work to undertake and maintain... even the current reference Python bindings by MITRE are pretty bare-bones (they don't "make anything simple", it's really just a data binding - not really what is required
for a widely used reference library) and I don't think the Java ones were ever completed. If you don't have an easy to use library set for everyone to use, then the format of the data is very important.
I will give an example to the list from my own experience. I had to add some STIX support to a system in Python that was running Python 2.6, which I do not have any control over, and did not ship with a C++ compiler. As a result, the MITRE reference libraries
have a dependancy chain that ends up with something needing C++ linking to libraries to build - so I could not use them at all. I ended up having to write my own STIX parser in Python from the XML... which was quite eye-opening as to how convoluted STIX can
be to work with, and I had all of Python to help me. I can't even imagine the job of someone writing a STIX XML parser in C++ based on the 1.1 specification alone.
/ I honestly hate them all, even the XML format. /
Well I know few data formats I have any particular "love" for :) My main beef with the XML format has nothing to do with how it looks, it has to do with markup verboseness and efficiency on the wire.
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<image001.gif>"Bush, Jonathan" ---2015/08/28 09:06:30 PM---Bret - I think my point still remains - Why should I have to learn ANY specific implementation forma
From: "Bush, Jonathan" <email@example.com>
To: "'Jordan, Bret'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Aharon Chernin <email@example.com>
Cc: Mark Clancy <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Date: 2015/08/28 09:06 PM
Subject: RE: [cti] Thoughts on STIX and some of the other threads on this list
Sent by: <email@example.com>
Bret – I think my point still remains – Why should I have to learn ANY specific implementation format? I honestly hate them all, even the XML format.
If we abstract out the complexity what we have to ‘learn’ is a set of API calls. This is how modern software is built – Not on data formats but on API formats.
From:firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of Jordan, Bret
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 7:38 PM
To: Aharon Chernin
Cc: Mark Clancy; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: [cti] Thoughts on STIX and some of the other threads on this list
Consumers use tools, hopefully they never see the format. Vendors, web developers, app developers, and open source developers write the tools. They are the ones that have to pay the XML tax.
Given the progress that Facebook is making I can begin to see a need for vendors even Soltra Edge to start supporting their threat exchange format.
My question still stands.. Will anyone not use STIX if we stopped doing XML? Follow on, how many more vendors and developers will we gain if we adopted JSON?
Let's just use Intelworks' JSON STIX format and be done with it.
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