Misunderstanding APT Indicators of Compromise | Threatpost
A really interesting piece on IOCs (Indicators of Compromise) and how the term is often misunderstood and used in ways which are misleading for marketing from security vendors.
It also makes use of a great definition from MITRE on what the difference between ‘Observables‘ and ‘Indicators‘.
“Observables are stateful properties and measurable events pertinent to the operation of computers and networks. Information about a file (name, hash, size, etc.), a registry key value, a service being started, or an HTTP request being sent are all simple examples of Observables. […] Indicators are a construct used to convey specific Observables combined with contextual information intended to represent artifacts and/or behaviors of interest within a cyber security context. They consist of one or more Observables potentially mapped to a related TTP context and adorned with other relevant metadata on things like confidence in the indicator’s assertion, handling restrictions, valid time windows, likely impact, sightings of the indicator, structure test mechanisms for detection, suggested course of action, the source of the indicator, etc.”
MITRE also defines several interrelated terms that address higher-level constructs and organizational objectives: Incidents; Tools, Tactics, and Procedures (TTPs); Campaign, Threat Actor, and Course Of Action (COA).