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Subject: Re: [cti] RE: On TTPs and specifications

Eoghan & All:

I'm taking some of these suggestions and incorporating them into a Mind Map. I'm embedding the URL links Kyle sent us right into the Mind Map objects. To your point, there are other models, as well. At this point I'm just trying to be as inclusive as possible.. so we can begin to harmonize across the models.


I've embedded your suggestions, given below, on the Modus Operandi Object in the Mind Map... Not sure if that is the right place... but, now there is a placeholder for these thoughts moving forward.

 TTP playground document on Google:


We will use the process described by John Wunder (for STIX) and confirmed by Trey and Ivan (for CybOX) for working these through to resolution among the entire TC.

For those that are not yet on Slack, there is a very active conversation going in the #ttps channel, the analysts are beginning to weigh in... on what they need and really want to see for STIX 2.x & CybOX 3.x.....all CTI-TC Members are welcome.

Jane Ginn

On 5/4/2016 12:30 PM, Casey, Eoghan CIV DC3/DCCI wrote:
For the sake of learning from past experience, let's consider this topic in the broader context of criminal investigation. The terminology is different (MO and signature) but the concepts are the same.

These definitions are taken in part from "Criminal Profiling: An Introduction to Behavioral Evidence Analysis" by Brent Turvey. Examples of from my joint work with Brent Turvey.

1) Modus operandi (MO) is Latin for "a method of operating." It refers to the behaviors that are committed by an offender for the purpose of successfully completing an offense. An offender's modus operandi reflects how an offender committed their crimes. It is separate from the offender's motives, or signature aspects. MO most often serves one or more of three purposes:

     a) protects the offender's identity
     b) ensures the successful completion of the crime
     c) facilitates the offender's escape

Examples of MO behaviors related to computer and Internet crimes include, but are most certainly not limited to:

      - Amount of planning before a crime, evidenced by behavior and materials (i.e. notes taken in the planning stage regarding location selection and potential victim information, found in e-mails or personal journals on a personal computer).

      - Materials used by the offender in the commission of the specific offense (i.e. system type, connection type, software involved, etc.).

      - Presurveillance of a crime scene or victim (i.e. monitoring a potential victim's posting habits on a discussion list, learning about a potential victim's lifestyle or occupation on their personal website, contacting a potential victim directly using a friendly alias or a pretense, etc.).

      - Offense location selection (i.e. a threatening message sent to a Usenet newsgroup, a conversation had in an Internet Relay Chat room to groom a potential victim, a server hosting illicit materials for covert distribution, etc.).

      - Use of a weapon during a crime (i.e. a harmful virus sent to a victim's PC as an e-mail attachment, etc.).

      - Offender precautionary acts (i.e. the use of aliases, stealing time on a private system for use as a base of operations, IP spoofing, etc.).

2) Offender Signature (comprised of two parts):

     a) Signature Behaviors: Signature behaviors are those acts committed by an offender that are not necessary to complete the offense. Their convergence can be used to suggest an offender's psychological or emotional needs (signature aspect). They are best understood as a reflection of the underlying personality, lifestyle, and developmental experiences of an offender.
     b) Signature Aspects: The emotional or psychological themes or needs that an offender satisfies when they commit offense behaviors.

Let's not limit TTP to a small subset of this valuable information. The details of an offender's MO and signature can be useful for case linkage - the general process of demonstrating discrete connections between two or more previously unrelated cases. A connection between one or more cases can be sufficiently distinctive as to support the inference that the same person is responsible.

Eoghan Casey


Jane Ginn, MSIA, MRP
Cyber Threat Intelligence Network, Inc.

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