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Question: In certain cases, a TAXII Server is expected to respond to a TAXII Client with a Status Message but the message_id of the request message cannot be known. For example, consider an unparseable request message; that message should be met with a Status Message with a Status Type of BAD_MESSAGE. However, in_response_to is required but cannot be retrieved from the request message because it could not be parsed. What should be used for the in_response_to field of that Status Message?
Answer: The short answer is, use ‘0’ as the in_response_to field. The long answer is that this is a corner case that wasn’t fully realized until after TAXII 1.1 was released, and therefore there isn’t a “standard” way to respond. The TAXII Team proposes using ‘0’ as a convention for cases where the message_id of the request is not known.
Question: The TAXII XML Message Bindings (both 1.0 and 1.1) indicate that the
Extended_Header element “MAY contain any
XML”, does this include the
Extended_Header element having multiple XML children?
Answer: Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, here are examples of both:
Extended_Header with a single child (direct descendant):
1 2 3 4 5 <Extended_Header> <Some_Element> <!-- Anything here, including more XML --> </Some_Element> </Extended_Header>
Extended_Header with multiple children (direct descendants):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 <Extended_Header> <Some_Element> <!-- Anything here, including more XML --> </Some_Element> <Some_Other_Element> <!-- Anything here, including more XML --> </Some_Other_Element> </Extended_Header>
The short answer is that both variations of
Extended_Header are permitted in TAXII. However, the second
variation (multiple children) is more complex to implement. Following the Robustness Principle (aka, Postel’s law),
senders of TAXII Messages should make every attempt to use the first variation (single child) since it is simpler.
Recipients of TAXII Messages should support both variations, as both are permitted in TAXII.
Question: In Sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 there is the parameter match_type with the permitted values case_sensitive_string and case_insentive_string, yet in Sections 5.1.9, 5.1.10, 5.1.11 and 5.2.1 there is the parameter case_sensitive with the permitted values of TRUE and FALSE.
Answer: The reasoning behind these differences is that the relationships defined in Sections 5.1.1 (equals) and 5.1.2 (not equals) can be a string operation or a numeric operation, while the others are string operations only. In the case of a numeric equals, a ‘case_insensitive_string’ parameter doesn’t make sense. In the case of Sections 5.1.9 (begins_with), 5.1.10 (ends_with), 5.1.11 (contains), and 5.2.1 (regex matches), they are all string match operations. For the string matching operations, we went with a “case_sensitive=True/False” property and for operations that are not necessarily string matching we have a “match_type” property.
Question: In Sections 5.1.4 and 5.1.6 there are the relationships greater_than_or_equal and less_then_or_equal, yet in Sections 5.3.3 and 5.3.5 the relationships are listed as greater_then_or_equals and less_then_or_equals.
Answer: Good catch. This was an oversight on our part and consistency was intended. Hopefully this does not make implementation of the specification any more difficult.
Question: In Sections 5.1.7 and 5.1.8. the relationships does_not_exist and exists do not have any parameters. Should there be a parameter to indicate what does not exists and what exists?
Answer: The intent of the relationships (exists, does_not_exist, among others) are intended to be used in a Criterion structure as described in section 3.1.1. In a Criterion there is a Target and Test. In the case of exists and does_not_exist, the target is tested for (non) existence.
Question: In Section 5.1.7 the text description is inconsistent with the relationship type. “The greater then relationship returns true if the target does not exists” Should this read “The does not exist relationship returns true if the target does not exist.”
Answer: You are correct, this is a typo. We’ll have to update the errata.
Question: The @negate property of Criterion reads ‘This field indicates whether the final result of the Criterion should be negated. If absent, treat this field as “false”.’ What is the correct interpretation of this statement?
Answer: The Criterion negates the result of the evaluating a Criterion. Each Criterion has a Test and Target. The Test is applied to the Target, resulting in a True (The Target matches the test) or a False (The Target does not match the Test). If the negate property is set to “true”, the result is “negated”: True becomes False and False becomes True.
As a simple example, let’s say you have a simple record that has a single property, “height=100”. If you have Target=height and a Test of “equals 100”, the Criterion would evaluate to true for the “height=100” record. If negate is set to true, the Criterion would instead evaluate to false.