Collaborative Automated Course of Action Operations (CACAO) for Cyber Security
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IETF B. Jordan
Internet-Draft Symantec Corporation
Intended status: Informational A. Thomson
Expires: November 3, 2019 LookingGlass Cyber
May 02, 2019
Collaborative Automated Course of Action Operations (CACAO) for Cyber
This is the charter for the Working Group: Collaborative Automated
Course of Action Operations (CACAO) for Cyber Security
Status of This Memo
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This Internet-Draft will expire on November 3, 2019.
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2. Goals and Deliverables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
To defend against threat actors and their tactics, techniques, and
procedures, organizations need to manually identify, create, and
document prevention, mitigation, and remediation steps. These steps
when grouped together into a course of action (COA) / playbook are
used to protect systems, networks, data, and users. The problem is,
once these steps have been created there is no standardized and
structured way to document them, verify they were correctly executed,
or easily share them across organizational boundaries and technology
This working group will create a standard that implements the
playbook model for cybersecurity operations.
This solution will specifically enable:
1. the creation and documentation of COAs in a structured machine-
2. organizations to perform attestation including verification and
authentication on COAs
3. the sharing and distribution of COAs across organizational
boundaries and technology stacks that may include protocols,
apis, interfaces and other related technology to support sharing.
4. the verification of COA correctness prior to deployment.
5. the monitoring of COA activity after successful deployment.
This solution will contain (at a minimum) a standard JSON based data
model, a defined set of functional capabilities and associated
interfaces, and a protocol. This solution will also provide a data
model for systems to confirm the status of the COA execution,
however, it will be agnostic of how the COA is implemented by the
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Each collaborative course of action, such as recommended prevention,
mitigation and remediation steps, will consist of a sequence of cyber
defense actions that can be executed by the various systems that can
act on those actions. Further, these COAs will be coordinated and
deployed across heterogeneous cyber security systems such that both
the actions requested and the resultant outcomes may be verified.
These COA actions will be referenceable in a data structure like the
OASIS STIX V2 model that provides support for related data such as
threat actors, campaigns, intrusion sets, malware, attack patterns,
and other adversarial techniques, tactics, and procedures.
Where possible the working group will consider existing efforts, like
OASIS OpenC2 and IETF I2NSF that define the atomic actions to be
included in a process or sequence. The working group will not
consider how shared actions are used/enforced, except where a
response is expected for a specific action or step.
2. Goals and Deliverables
This working group has the following major goals and deliverables
o CACAO Use Cases and Requirements
* Specify the use cases and requirements
o CACAO Functional Architecture: Roles and Interfaces
* Specify the system functions and roles that are needed to
enable Collaborative Courses of Action
o CACAO Protocol Specification
* Specify and standardize the configuration for at least one
protocol that can be used to distribute courses of action in
both a direct delivery and publish-subscribe method
o CACAO Distribution and Response Application Layer Protocol
* Specify the protocol which may include apis, interfaces and
other related technology to support the requirements identified
for the protocol.
o CACAO JSON Data Model
* Create a JSON data model that can capture and enable
collaborative courses of action
o CACAO Interoperability Test Documents
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* Define and create a series of tests and documents to assist
with interoperability of the various systems involved.
The working group may decide to not publish the use cases and
requirements; and test documents. That decision will be made during
the lifetime of the working group.
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