CIRCL Taxonomy - Schemes of Classification in Incident Response and Detection

Taxonomy - Schemes of Classification in Incident Response and Detection

A key success factor, while performing incident response, is to share a common understanding of the security incident. A common definition can be achieved by a shared vocabulary as described below.

Incident Classification

Incident classification is the classification of the method(s) used by an attacker through unauthorized access, destruction, disclosure, modification of data, and/or denial of service (ref:ENISA). An incident can cover one or more types of incident classification as described below.

Spam
Incident involving the reception or the sending of unsolicited emails or any other notification.
System Compromise
Incident involving the compromise of a computer-based element.
Scan
Incident including any act of network or system reconnaissance that could lead to a security incident. Legitimate security assessment will not be categorized as an incident.
Denial of Service
Incident involving a temporarily disruption of a computer-based element or network service.
Copyright Issue
Reported incident including disclosure of information covered by a restrictive copyright. The classification is used for reports which are not classified and handled as a security incident.
Phishing
Incident including attacks posing as legitimate company, organization or people.
Malware
Incident including malicious software or software deliberately designed or abused by an attacker to pursue his goal(s).
XSS
Incident including Cross-Site Scripting vulnerabilities being or potentially being abused.
Vulnerability
A vulnerability reported or discovered that could lead to a security incident.
Fastflux
Incident involving techniques of hiding malicious activities by an ever-changing set of compromised systems.
SQL Injection
Incident involving techniques to directly abuse the backend database (not limited to SQL databases).
Information Leak
Incident including disclosure of information where distribution should have been restricted.
Scam
Incident forcing a potential victim to act for the benefit of an attacker.

Topic

Topic is the identified area of activity from the structure (owning the IP address if final owner is not known) having the potential incident. An incident can cover one or more topic(s) as described below.

Finance
Financial sector including banks, card and payment processing companies or third-party providers handling financial information.
ICT
Overall information and communication technology sector including Internet Service Provider (ISP), hosting provider, and telecom provider.
Individual
Physical person having a direct relationship with the incident as a victim or as a reporter.
Industry
Sector dealing with the processing of materials and/or manufacturing of goods in factories including any supporting activities to industries.
Medical
Sector handling health of people including companies doing hospital management or dealing with medical information.
Services
Overall sector of activities not dealing with the previously mentioned topic providing a service (Finance, ICT, Individual, Industry or Medical).
Undefined
Sector of activities not falling in the previously mentioned categories (Finance, ICT, Individual, Industry, Medical or Services) or cannot be defined during the incident handling classification. This topic of classification might be temporary upon an adequate topic is found.

Machine readable format

The above circl taxonomy is available in MISP PDF in the default taxonomy and can be freely reused by other organisations.

Indicators Taxonomy

CIRCL also relies on a common set of indicators and categories used for information sharing within MISP and other similar threat sharing platforms.

Classification of this document

TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction, subject to copyright controls.

Revision

  • Version 1.0 October 1st, 2015 Initial version TLP:WHITE.