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The Incident Object Description Exchange Format (IODEF) defines a data representation that provides a framework for sharing information commonly exchanged by Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) about computer security incidents.
"It provides an XML representation for conveying incident information across administrative domains between parties that have an operational responsibility of remediation or a watch-and-warning over a defined constituency. The data model encodes information about hosts, networks, and the services running on these systems; attack methodology and associated forensic evidence; impact of the activity; and limited approaches for documenting workflow.
The overriding purpose of the IODEF is to enhance the operational capabilities of CSIRTs. Community adoption of the IODEF provides an improved ability to resolve incidents and convey situational awareness by simplifying collaboration and data sharing. This structured format provided by the IODEF allows for:
- increased automation in processing of incident data, since the resources of security analysts to parse free-form textual documents will be reduced;
- decreased effort in normalizing similar data (even when highly structured) from different sources; and
- a common format on which to build interoperable tools for incident handling and subsequent analysis, specifically when data comes from multiple constituencies."