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The SEPSES Knowledge Graph: An Integrated Resource for Cybersecurity

  • Elmar KieslingEmail author
  • Andreas Ekelhart
  • Kabul Kurniawan
  • Fajar Ekaputra
Open Access
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11779)

Abstract

This paper introduces an evolving cybersecurity knowledge graph that integrates and links critical information on real-world vulnerabilities, weaknesses and attack patterns from various publicly available sources. Cybersecurity constitutes a particularly interesting domain for the development of a domain-specific public knowledge graph, particularly due to its highly dynamic landscape characterized by time-critical, dispersed, and heterogeneous information. To build and continually maintain a knowledge graph, we provide and describe an integrated set of resources, including vocabularies derived from well-established standards in the cybersecurity domain, an ETL workflow that updates the knowledge graph as new information becomes available, and a set of services that provide integrated access through multiple interfaces. The resulting semantic resource offers comprehensive and integrated up-to-date instance information to security researchers and professionals alike. Furthermore, it can be easily linked to locally available information, as we demonstrate by means of two use cases in the context of vulnerability assessment and intrusion detection.

Keywords

Knowledge graph Cybersecurity Security vocabularies Security standards Security analysis Intrusion detection 

1 Introduction

Security and privacy have become key issues in today’s modern societies characterized by a strong dependence on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Security incidents, such as ransomware and data theft, are widely reported in the media and illustrate the ongoing struggle to protect ICT systems. In their mission to secure systems, security professionals rely on a wealth of information such as known and newly identified vulnerabilities, weaknesses, threats, and attack patterns. Such information is collected and published by, e.g., Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), research institutions, government agencies, and industry experts. Whereas a lot of relevant information is still shared informally as text, initiatives to make security information available in well-defined structured formats, largely driven by MITRE1 and NIST2, have made significant progress and resulted in a wide range of standards [1]. These standards define high-level schemas for cybersecurity information and have resulted in various structured lists that are available for browsing on the web and for download in heterogeneous structured formats. This wealth of cybersecurity data is highly useful, but the current approach for sharing it is associated with several limitations: First, individual entities and data sets remain isolated and cannot easily be referenced and linked from other data sets. Second, whereas the governed schemas provide a well-defined structure, the semantics are not as well-defined. This limits the potential for integration and automated machine interpretation. Consequently, the resulting abundance of data raises challenges for security analysts and professionals who have to keep track of all the available sources and identify relevant information within them.

In this paper, we propose that integrating cybersecurity information into a regularly updated, public knowledge graph can overcome these limitations and open up exciting opportunities for cybersecurity research and practice. Thereby, it is possible not only to query public cybersecurity information, but also to use it to contextualize local information. As we illustrate with two example use cases in this paper, this facilitates applications such as (i) improved vulnerability assessment by automatically determining which new vulnerabilities affect a given infrastructure, and (ii) improved incident response through better contextualization of intrusion detection alerts.

Our main contributions can be summarized as follows: For cybersecurity research and practice, we advance the state of the art by providing an integrated up-to-date view on cybersecurity knowledge in a semantically explicit representation. Furthermore, we provide tools and services to query and make use of this interlinked knowledge graph. From a semantic web research perspective, we illustrate how Linked Data principles can be applied to combine local and public knowledge in a highly dynamic environment characterized by fast-changing, dispersed, and heterogeneous information. To this end, we develop an ETL pipeline that integrates newly available structured data from public sources into the knowledge graph, which involves acquisition, extraction, lifting, linking, and validation steps. We provide the following resources3: (i) vocabularies for the rich representation and interlinking of security-related information based on five well-established standards in the cybersecurity domain. (ii) a comprehensive SEPSES Cybersecurity Knowledge Graph (KG)4 with detailed instance data5 accessible through multiple interfaces. (iii) an ETL workflow published as open source that updates the knowledge graph as new information becomes available. (iv) a website6 that provides documentation, status information, and pointers to the various access mechanisms provided. (v) a set of services to access the data, i.e., a SPARQL endpoint, a triple pattern fragments interface, a Linked Data interface, and download options for the whole data set as well as various subsets.

This semantic approach can provide a foundation for tools and services that support security analysts in applying external security knowledge and efficiently navigating dynamic security information. Ultimately, this should contribute towards improved cybersecurity knowledge sharing and increased situational awareness, both in large organizations that have dedicated security experts who are often overwhelmed by the large amount of information, and in smaller organizations that do not have the resources to invest in specialized tools and experts.

The remainder of this paper is organized as follows: Sect. 2 provides an overview of related work; Sect. 3 covers construction and maintenance of the KG, including vocabularies, data acquisition mechanisms, and updating pipelines; Sect. 4 provides an overview of the provided mechanisms to access the data in the KG and discusses its sustainability, maintenance and extensibility; Sect. 5 illustrates the usefulness of the resource by means of two example use cases; Sect. 6 concludes the paper with an outlook on future work.

2 Related Work

Various information security standards, taxonomies, vocabularies, and ontologies have been developed in academia, industry, and government agencies. In this section, we review these lines of related work, which fall into two broad categories: (i) standard data schemas for information sharing in the cybersecurity domain (covered in Sect. 2.1) and (ii) higher-level conceptualizations of security knowledge (covered in Sect. 2.2). We conclude the section by identifying the gap between those strands of work.

2.1 Standard Data Schemas

Efficient information exchange requires common standards, particularly in highly diverse and dynamic domains such as cybersecurity. Hence, a set of standards has emerged that define the syntax of description languages for structured cybersecurity information and the semantics associated with those descriptions in natural language. Some of these standards are driven by traditional standardization bodies such as ISO, ITU, IEEE or IETF. The majority, however, are contributed by open source communities or other entities such as MITRE7, a not-for-profit research and development cooperation.8

Salient examples for information sharing standards, all of which are integrated in the knowledge graph presented in this paper, include Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)9 for publicly known vulnerabilities, Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC)10 for known attack patterns used by adversaries, Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)11 for software security weaknesses, Common Platform Enumeration (CPE)12 for encoding names of IT products and platforms, and Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS)13 for vulnerability scoring. These standards are widely used by security practitioners and integrated into security products and services, but they also serve as an important point of reference for research.

2.2 Security Ontologies

A related line of academic research aims at a high-level conceptualization of information security knowledge, which has resulted in numerous ontologies (e.g., [2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15]) that typically revolve around core concepts such as asset, threat, vulnerability, and countermeasure. The resulting security ontologies are typically scoped for particular application domains (e.g., risk management, incident management). The high-level ontology developed in [8], for instance, mainly focuses on malware and aspects such as actors, victims, infrastructure, and capabilities. The authors argue that expressive semantic models are crucial for complex security applications and name Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language (OVAL), CPE, Common Configuration Enumeration (CCE), and CVE as the most promising starting points for the development of a cybersecurity ontology. Inspired by that work, Oltramari et al. [9] introduce an ontological cyber security framework that comprises a top-level ontology based on DOLCE, a mid-level ontology with security concepts (e.g., threat, attacker, vulnerability, countermeasure), and a domain ontology of cyber operations including defensive and offensive actions. A comprehensive survey and classification of similar security ontologies can be found in [12].

More recently, various initiatives aimed at developing security ontologies that cover the standard schemas outlined in Sect. 2.1, including an ontology for CVE vulnerabilities [4, 16, 17] that can be used to identify vulnerable IT products. Ulicny et al. [14] take advantage of existing standards and markup languages such as Structured Threat Information eXpression (STIX), CAPEC, CVE and CybOX and transform their respective XML schemas through XSLT translators and custom code into a Web Ontology Language (OWL) ontology. Furthermore, they integrate external information, e.g., on persons, groups and organizations, IP addresses (WhoIs records), geographic entities (GeoNames), and “killchain” phases. In an application example, the authors illustrate how this can help to inspect intrusion detection events, e.g., by mapping events to kill chain stages and obtaining more information about threat actors based on IP addresses.

As part of a research project (STUCCO), Iannacone et al. [5] outline an approach for a cybersecurity knowledge graph and note that they aim to integrate information from both structured and unstructured data sources. Some extraction code and JSON schema data is available on the project website14 but no integrated knowledge graph has been published. In a similar effort, Syed et al. [13] integrate heterogeneous knowledge schemas from various cybersecurity systems and standards and create a Unified Cybersecurity Ontology (UCO) that aligns CAPEC, CVE, CWE, STIX, Trusted Automated eXchange fo Indicator Information (TAXII)15 and Att&ck16. Whereas most ontologies proposed in the literature are not publicly available, UCO is offered for download17, including some example instances from industry standard repositories. However, the instance data in the dump is neither complete nor updated, and there is no public endpoint available. Finally, the Cyber Intelligence Ontology18 is another example of an ontology that is available for download in RDF and offers classes, properties and restrictions on many industry standards, but no instance data.

Overall, a review of related work shows that although basic concepts in the cybersecurity domain have been formalized repeatedly, no model has so far emerged as a standard. Furthermore, the proposed high-level conceptualizations typically lack concrete instance information.

On the other hand, there are many standards for cybersecurity information sharing and the information is published in various structured formats19, navigable on the web and/or available for download; however, there is no integrated view on this scattered, heterogeneous information. Hence, each application that makes use of the published data has to parse and interpret each source individually, which makes reuse, machine interpretation, and integration with local data difficult. In the following section, we describe how an evolving cybersecurity knowledge graph that provides an integrated perspective on the cybersecurity landscape can fill this gap.

3 Knowledge Graph Construction and Evolution

To construct and regularly update the SEPSES Cybersecurity KG, we define a set of vocabularies, described in Sect. 3.1, and an architecture for initial ingestion and incremental updating of the graph, covered in Sect. 3.2. Publication via Linked Data (LD), Triple Pattern Fragments (TPF), a SPARQL endpoint, and RDF dumps are covered in Sect. 4.

3.1 Conceptualization and Vocabularies

To model the domain of interest, we started with a survey and found that the vast majority of conceptualizations described in the literature are not available online. Those that were available did not provide sufficiently detailed classes and properties to represent all the information available in the cybersecurity repositories we target.

Hence, we opted for a bottom-up approach starting from a set of well-established industry data sources. We structured our vocabularies based on the schemas used to publish existing instance data and chose appropriate terms based on the survey of existing conceptualizations. In choosing this approach, our main design goal was to include the complete information from the original data sources and make the resulting knowledge graph self-contained. To facilitate mapping to other existing conceptualizations, we kept the Resource Description Framework (RDF) model structurally similar to the data models of the original sources. This should make it easy for users already familiar with the original data sources to navigate and integrate our semantic resource. Furthermore, we can easily refer to the original documentation and examples in the vocabularies. We then created a schema that covers the following security information repositories (cf. Fig. 1 for a high-level overview).20
Fig. 1.

SEPSES knowledge graph vocabulary high-level overview

CVE is a well-established industry standard that provides a list of identifiers for publicly known cybersecurity vulnerabilities. In addition to CVE, we integrate the National U.S. Vulnerability Database (NVD), which enriches CVEs with additional information, such as security checklist references, security-related software flaws, misconfigurations, product names, and impact metrics. We represent this information in the CVE class, which includes data type properties such as cve:cveId, cve:description, cve:issued and cve:modified timestamps. Based on the NVD information, we can link CVE to affected products (cve:hasCPE), vulnerable configurations (cve:hasVulnerableConfiguration), impact scores (cve:hasCVSS), related weaknesses (cve:hasCWE), and external references (cve:hasReference).

CVSS provides a quantitative model to describe characteristics and impacts of IT vulnerabilities. It is well-established as a standard measurement system for organizations worldwide. We integrate the CVSS scores provided by NVD, and model the CVSS metrics by means of the CVSSBaseMetric, CVSSTemporalMetric, and CVSSEnvironmentalMetric classes to comply with the CVSS specification21.

CPE provides a structured naming scheme for IT systems, software, and packages based on URIs. NIST hosts and maintains the CPE Dictionary, which currently is based on the CPE 2.3 specification. We represent CPEs with the CPE class and reference product information with cpe:hasProduct. Furthermore, we define a set of properties that describe a product, such as product name, version, update, edition, language, etc. The vendor of each product is modeled as a Vendor and referenced by cpe:hasVendor.

CWE is a community-developed list of common software security weaknesses that contains information on identification, mitigation, and prevention. NVD vulnerabilities are mapped to CWEs to offer general vulnerability information. This information is modeled using the CWE class and a set of datatype properties such as cwe:id, cwe:name, cwe:description, and cwe:status, as well as object properties, to e.g., link applicable platforms (cwe:hasApplicablePlatform), attack patterns (cwe:hasCAPEC), consequences (cwe:hasCommonConsequence), related weaknesses to model the CWE hierarchy (cwe:hasRelatedWeakness) and potential mitigations (cwe:hasPotentialMitigation).

CAPEC is a dictionary of known attack patterns used by adversaries to exploit known vulnerabilities, and can be used by analysts, developers, testers, and educators to advance community understanding and enhance defenses. We model CAPEC patterns in the CAPEC class with datatype properties such as capec:id, capec:name, capec:likelihoodOfAttack, and capec:description. Additional information is linked via object properties such as consequences capec:hasConsequences, required skills capec:hasSkillRequired, attack prerequisites capec:prerequisites, and attack consequences capec:hasConsequence.

Most of these data sets define identifiers for key entities such as vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and attack patterns and reuse some concepts from other standards (e.g., CPE names and CVSS scores are used within CVE). In the next section, we will describe how we leverage these references to link the data.

3.2 ETL Process

Figure 2 illustrates the overall architecture and the data acquisition, resource extraction, entity linking and validation, storage and publication steps necessary to provide a continuously updated cybersecurity knowledge graph. In the following, we describe the steps in the core Extraction, Transformation, Loading (ETL) process that periodically checks and digest data from the various sources.
Fig. 2.

Architecture: ETL process and publishing

Data Acquisition. We populate our KG using data from various sources that provide data on their respective web sites for download in heterogeneous formats such as CSV, XML, and JSON. These cybersecurity data sources are updated regularly to reflect changes in the real-world. CVE data, for instance, is typically updated once every two hours.22 In order to capture changes and reflect them in the knowledge graph, our ETL engine will regularly poll for updates and ingest the latest version of the sources.

Resource Extraction. We use the caRML engine23 to transform the original source files from their various formats. Furthermore, we use Apache Jena24 to transform the raw RDF data obtained from the RML mappings into the structure of the final ontology. Initially, we developed RDF Mapping Language (RML) transformation mappings that utilized specific features from caRML, such as carml:multiJoinCondition. Due address performance issues, however, we decided to restructure the initial mapping into generic RML mappings that do not involve specific constructs from caRML, which improved performance considerably.25 Because the original data sources have an established ID system, instance ID generation was straightforward for most sources (i.e., CWE, CVE CAPEC, and CVSS). For CPE, however, the instance name is a composite of several naming elements (e.g., product name, part, vendor, version, etc.), separated by special characters. To solve the issue, we use XPath functions to clean and produce a unique name for each CPE instance.

Entity Linking and Validation. In this part of the ETL process, we link data from different sources based on common identifiers in the data. Each CWE weakness, for example, typically references several CAPEC attack patterns. Based on these identifiers, we create direct links between associated resources. Specifically for CPE, we deploy the exact same XPath functions for its identifier in the two sources (CPE and CVE) where CPE instances are generated, to make sure that these data can be linked correctly. To ensure data quality, we validate the generated RDF with SHACL to make sure that the necessary properties are included for each generated individual. Furthermore, we validate whether the resulting resources are linked correctly, as references to identifiers that are not or no longer available in other data sets are unfortunately a common issue. As an example, a CVE instance may have a relation to another resource such as a CPE identifier. In this case, the validation mechanism will check whether the referenced CPE instance exists in the extracted CPE data, log missing instances and create temporary resources for them.

Data Storage. We store the extracted data in a triple store and generate statistics such as parsing time, parsing status (success or fail), counts of instances, links, and generation time. To make sure that the data is continuously up to date, we wrote a set of bash scripts that are set to be executed in regular intervals to trigger the knowledge generation process and store the result in the triple store. To date, this resulted in more than half a million instances and 36 million triples; Table 1 provides a breakdown of the generated data.
Table 1.

SEPSES knowledge graph statistics (As per July 2, 2019.)

CVE

CVSS

CPE

CWE

CAPEC

SnortRules

Axioms

68

248

111

256

149

486

Class count

7

9

5

10

8

10

Object property Count

6

8

4

9

6

10

Data property count

8

37

18

40

22

103

Individual count

123,005

123,220

393,695

808

516

3,488

4 Knowledge Graph Access

The SEPSES web site26 provides pointers to the various resources covered in this paper, i.e., the LD resources27, the SPARQL28 and TPF query interfaces29, a download link for the complete RDF snapshots30, and the ETL engine source code31. This allows users to choose the most appropriate access mechanism for their application context.

4.1 Sustainability, Maintenance and Extensibility

The SEPSES KG is being developed jointly by TU Wien and SBA Research, a well-established research center for information security that is embedded within a network of more than 70 companies as well as 15 Universities and research institutions. Endpoints and data sets are hosted at TU Wien and maintained as part of the research project SEPSES, which aims to leverage semantic web technologies for security log interpretation. During this project, we will extend the KG and leverage it as background knowledge in research on semantic monitoring and forensic analysis.

To keep the KG in sync with the evolving cybersecurity landscape, we will continue to automatically poll and process updates of the original raw data sources. We choose our polling strategy according to the varying update intervals of the data sources: CVEs are typically updated once every two hours, CPEs are typically updated daily. CWE and CAPEC are less dynamic and are updated approximately on a yearly schedule.

Furthermore, SBA Research has an active interest in developing and diffusing the KG internally and within its partner network, which will secure long-term maintenance beyond the current research project. We also expect the KG to grow and establish an active external user community during that time. To this end, we publish our vocabularies and the source code under an open source MIT license32 and encourage community contributions.33 Adoption success will be measured (i) based on access statistics (web page access, SPARQL queries, downloads, etc.), and (ii) the emergence of a community around the knowledge graph (code contributions, citations, attractiveness as a linked data target, number of research and community projects that make use of it, etc.).

5 Use Cases

In this section, we illustrate the applicability of the cybersecurity knowledge graph by means of two example scenarios.

5.1 Vulnerability Assessment

In security management, identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing vulnerabilities in a system is a key activity and a necessary precondition for threat mitigation and elimination and hence for the successful protection of valuable resources. This Vulnerability Assessment (VA) process can involve both active techniques such as scanning and penetration testing and passive techniques such as monitoring the wealth of public data sources for relevant vulnerabilities and threats. For the latter, keeping track of all the relevant information and determining relevance and implications for the assets in a system is a challenging task for security professionals. In this scenario, we illustrate how the developed knowledge graph can support security analysts by linking organization-specific asset information to a continuously updated stream of known vulnerabilities.

Setting: To illustrate the approach, we modeled a simplified example network comprising of three Hosts – two workstations, a server – and NetworkDevices. All hardware components are sub classes of ITAssets. Furthermore, we model the software installed on each Host by means of the hasInstalledProduct property that links the host to a CPE specification. To determine the potential severity of an impact, we also include DataAssets, their classification (public, private, restricted), and their storage location (storedOn Host) in the model. In practice, the modeling of a system can be supported by existing IT asset/software discovery and inventory tools.
Table 2.

Vulnerability assessment query 1 – results

hostName

IP

product

cveIds

DBServer1

192.168.1.3

Windows Server 2016

CVE-2016-3332, ..., CVE-2017-8746

Workstation1

192.168.1.1

Windows 10

CVE-2016-3302, ..., CVE-2015-2554

Query 1: Once a model of the local system has been created, the vulnerability information published in the cybersecurity knowledge graph can be applied and contextualized by means of a federated SPARQL query. Note that we also provide a TPF interface for efficient querying. In particular, a security analyst may be interested in all known vulnerabilities that potentially apply to each host, based on the software that is installed on it (cf. Listing 1). Table 2 shows an example query result. Each resource in the table points to its Linked Data representation, which can serve as a starting point for further exploration. Note that as new vulnerability information becomes available and is automatically integrated into the knowledge graph through the process described in Sect. 3, the query results will automatically reflect newly identified vulnerabilities.

Query 2: In order to assess the potential impact that a newly identified vulnerability may have, it is critical to asses which data assets might be exposed if an attacker can successfully exploit it. In the next step, we hence take advantage of the modeled data assets and formulate a query (cf. Listing 2)34 to retrieve the most severe vulnerabilities, i.e., those that affect hosts that store sensitive private data (classification value = 1) and have a complete confidentiality impact (as specified in CVSS). Table 3 shows the query result and illustrates how such immediate analysis can save time by avoiding manual investigation steps.

Exploration: The query results can serve as a starting point for further exploration of the Linked Data in the knowledge graph35. By navigating it, a security analyst can access information from various sources such as, e.g., attack prerequisites and potential mitigations from CAPEC, weakness classifications and potential mitigations from CWE, and scorings from CVSS.
Table 3.

Vulnerability assessment query 2 – results

hostName

cveId

conf

score

dataAsset

class

consequence

Workstation2

2016-1646

COMPLETE

9.3

EmpData

Private

Read Memory

Workstation2

2016-1653

COMPLETE

9.3

EmpData

Private

DoS: Crash, Exit\(\ldots \)

Workstation2

2016-1583

COMPLETE

7.2

EmpData

Private

DoS: Resource Cons\(\ldots \)

Workstation2

2016-1583

COMPLETE

9.3

EmpData

Private

Execute Unauthorized \(\ldots \)

5.2 Intrusion Detection

In this scenario, we illustrate how alerts from the Network Intrusion Detection System (NIDS) Snort36 can be connected to the SEPSES Cybersecurity KG in order to obtain a deeper understanding of potential threats and ongoing attacks. As a first step, we acquired the Snort community rule set37 and integrated it into our cybersecurity repository using a defined vocabulary38. Snort can monitor these rules and trigger alerts once it finds matches to these patterns in the network traffic. We represent SnortRules as a class with two linked concepts SnortRuleHeader and SnortRuleOption. For SnortRuleOption we include properties such as sr:hasClassType and sr:hasCVEReference, which will be used to link incoming alerts to CVEs.

Setting: We use a large data set collected during the MACCDC 201239 cybersecurity competition as a realistic set of real-world intrusion detection alerts (cf. Listing 3 for an example). We provide and use a Snort alert log vocabulary40 to map those alerts into RDF.

Query: When a Snort alert is triggered, a security expert typically has to analyze its relevance and decide about potential mitigations. False positives are common in this context. For instance, a particular attack pattern may be detected frequently in a network, but it may not be relevant if the targeted host configuration is not vulnerable. To support security analysts in this time-critical and information-intensive analysis task, we identify the corresponding Snort rule that triggered each particular alert. These rules often include a reference to a CVE, which we can use to query our knowledge graph for detailed CVE information related to an alert. Furthermore, by matching the installed software on the host to the vulnerable product configuration defined in CVE (cf. Scenario 1), we can automatically provide security decision makers a better foundation to estimate the relevance of a Snort alert wrt. to their protected assets. To illustrate this process, Listing 441 shows an example query to obtain CVE Ids and vulnerable products from Snort alerts. Based on the result Table 4, a security analyst can query if the attacked host has the vulnerable software installed (similar to Listing 1).

Table 4.

Intrusion detection query results

alert

message

sid

sourceIP

targetIP

cveId

cpeId

Alert001

WEB-MISC Chunked\(\ldots \)

1807

10.2.190.254

154.241.88.201

2002-0392

cpe:/a:apa...

Alert002

WEB-MISC WebDAV\(\ldots \)

1070

10.2.190.254

154.241.88.201

2000-0951

cpe:/a:micr...

Alert003

WEB-MISC TRACE\(\ldots \)

2056

10.2.197.241

154.241.88.201

2004-2320

cpe:/a:bea:w...

Alert004

WEB-FRONTPAGE\(\ldots \)

1248

10.2.190.254

154.241.88.201

2001-0341

cpe:/o:micr...

Alert005

WEB-MISC Netscape\(\ldots \)

1048

10.2.197.241

154.241.88.201

2001-0250

cpe:/a:netsc...

6 Conclusions

In this resource paper, we highlight the need for semantically explicit representations of security knowledge and the current lack of interlinked instance data. To tackle this challenge, we present a cybersecurity knowledge graph that integrates a set of widely adopted, heterogeneous cybersecurity data sources.

To maintain the knowledge graph and integrate newly available information, we developed an ETL process that updates it as new security information becomes available. In order to make this resource publicly available and easy to use, we offer multiple services to access the data, including a SPARQL endpoint, a triple pattern fragments interface, a Linked Data interface, and download options for the complete data set.

We demonstrated the usefulness of the graph by means of two example use cases in vulnerability assessment and semantic interpretation of alerts generated by intrusion detection systems. Given the compelling need for efficient exchange of machine-interpretable cybersecurity knowledge, we expect the KG to be useful for practitioners and researchers, and hope that the resource will ultimately facilitate novel and innovative semantic security tools and services. Future work will focus on disseminating the resource in the security domain, building a community of users and contributors around it, and growing the knowledge graph by integrating additional security standards and information extracted from structured and unstructured sources.

Footnotes

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.

    Semantic Processing of Security Event Streams is an ongoing research project.

  5. 5.

    36,594,388 triples as of July 2, 2019.

  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8.

    For a review of standards for the exchange of security information, cf. [1].

  9. 9.
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
  19. 19.

    Most commonly as XML or JSON files.

  20. 20.

    The figure omits detailed concepts for the sake of clarity. The complete vocabularies can be found at https://github.com/sepses/vocab.

  21. 21.
  22. 22.
  23. 23.
  24. 24.
  25. 25.

    In some cases, this reduced processing time from appr. an hour to less than a minute.

  26. 26.
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
  33. 33.

    The original raw data are published by MITRE with a no-charge copyright license and by NVD without copyright.

  34. 34.

    Prefixes identical to Listing 1.

  35. 35.
  36. 36.
  37. 37.
  38. 38.
  39. 39.
  40. 40.
  41. 41.

    Prefixes from Listing 1 are reused.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work has been supported by netidee SCIENCE, the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) under grant P30437-N31, and the Christian Doppler Research Association. The competence center SBA Research (SBA-K1) is funded within the framework of COMET—Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies by BMVIT, BMDW, and the federal state of Vienna, managed by the FFG.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TU WienViennaAustria
  2. 2.SBA ResearchViennaAustria
  3. 3.University of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.CDL-SQI - TU WienViennaAustria

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