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Extended Incident Handling

Document Charter Extended Incident Handling WG (inch)
Title Extended Incident Handling
Last updated 2006-10-11
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


Computer security incidents occur across administrative domains often
spanning different organizations and national borders. Therefore, the
exchange of incident information and statistics among involved parties 
and associated Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) is 
crucial for both reactionary analysis of current intruder activity and 
proactive identification of trends that can lead to incident 


The purpose of the Incident Handling (INCH) working group is to define 
a data format for exchanging security incident information used by a 
CSIRT. A CSIRT is defined broadly as an entity (either a team or 
individual) with a security role or responsibility for a given 
constituency (e.g., organization, network).

The use case for the INCH WG output is to standardize the information 
model and messaging format currently used in communication between a 
CSIRT and the:

* constituency (e.g., users, customers) from which it receives reports 
of misuse;

* other parties involved in an incident (e.g., technical contact at an
attacking site, other CSIRTs); and

* analysis centers performing trending across broad data-sets.

These INCH developed formats will replace the now largely human-
intensive communication processes common in incident handling. The 
working group will address the issues related to representing and 

* the source(s) and target(s) of system misuse, as well as the 
analysis of their behavior;

* the evidence to support this analysis;

* status of an incident investigation and analysis process; and

* meta-information relevant to sharing sensitive information across
administrative domains (e.g., internationalization, authorization, 


The WG will not attempt to define

- - an incident taxonomy;
- - an archive format for incident information;
- - a format for workflow process internal to a CSIRT; or
- - a format for computer security related information for which there 
is already a working standard.

Output of Working Group

1. A set of high-level requirements for a data format to represent
information commonly exchanged by CSIRTs.

2. A specification of an extensible, incident data description language
that describes a format that satisfies these requirements (Output #1).

3. A set of sample incident reports and their associate representation 
in the incident data language.

4. A message format specification and associated transport binding to 
carry the encoded description of an incident (Output #2).

5. Guidelines for implementing the data format (Output #2) and 
associated communications (Output #4)