The Cyber-Investigation Analysis Standard Expression Transitions to Linux Foundation

The Cyber-Investigation Analysis Standard Expression Transitions to Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the Cyber-investigation Analysis Standard Expression (CASE) is becoming a community project as part of the Cyber Domain Ontology (CDO) project under the Linux Foundation.

CASE is an ontology-based specification that supports automated combination and intelligent analysis of cyber-investigation information. CASE concentrates on advancing interoperability and analytics across a broad range of cyber-investigation domains, including digital forensics and incident response (DFIR).

“Becoming part of the Linux Foundation is a major milestone for CASE that will significantly benefit the broader open source and cyber-investigation communities,” said Eoghan Casey, Presiding Director of CASE. “As an evolving standard supporting structured expression and exchange of cyber-investigation information, CASE will substantially enhance efforts to address growing challenges in the modern world, including cyberattacks, ransomware, online fraud, sexual exploitation, and terrorism. Our objective is to create a culture of common comprehension and collaborative problem solving across cyber-investigation domains.”

Organizations involved in joint operations or intrusion investigations can efficiently and consistently exchange information in standard format with CASE, breaking down data silos and increasing visibility across all information sources. Tools that support CASE facilitate correlation of differing data sources and exploration of investigative questions, giving analysts a more comprehensive and cohesive view of available information, opening new opportunities for searching, pivoting, contextual analysis, pattern recognition, machine learning and visualization.

Development of CASE began in 2014 as a collaboration between the DoD Cyber Crime Center (DC3) and MITRE, led by Dr. Eoghan Casey and Sean Barnum, involving the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In response to international interest, this initiative became an open source evolving standard, with hundreds of participants in industry, government and academia around the globe.

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Early contributors include the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), the Italian Institute of Legal Informatics and Judicial Systems (IGSG-CNR), FireEye, and University of Lausanne. CASE governance and community coordination were formalized with support of Harm van Beek, Rich BrownRyan GriffithCory HallChristopher HargreavesJessica HydeDeborah Nichols, and Martin Westman. Growing international involvement is tracked on the CASE website:

The Technical Director is Alex Nelson, and the Ontology Committee is led by Paul Brandt. The Adoption Committee brings together developers from diverse backgrounds to share experiences and battle test ontologies. The success of these efforts depends on members of the community actively contributing to CASE development and implementation. The project welcomes anyone interested in elevating cyber-investigation capabilities to strengthen evidence-based decision making in any context, including court, boardroom, and battlefield.

CASE, built on the Hansken trace model developed and implemented by the NFI, aligns with and extends the Unified Cyber Ontology (UCO). This year has seen the release of UCO 0.7.0, and most recently CASE 0.5.0. CASE and UCO now both are built on SHACL constraints, providing an instance data validation capability. Currently, CASE is developing a representation for Inferences, both human formulated and computer generated, to bind investigative conclusions to supporting evidence and associated chain of custody.

The CASE community has multiple collaborative repositories and activities, including translators for common digital forensic tool outputs as well as mapping CASE to the W3C provenance ontology (PROV-O). CASE uses the Apache-2.0 license.

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