Beyond the Headlines: Elevating Threat Intelligence Sharing to Fight Cyber Threats

ThreatIntelReport CTI SharingThreatIntelReport CTI Sharing

The need for a collective defense strategy is more critical than ever. The intricate nature of modern attacks calls for a unified approach, one that leverages shared cyber threat intelligence. This includes Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) and Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs), the sharing of which can significantly bolster an organisation’s cyber resilience.

However, it’s crucial that we maintain a focus on the quality and utility of the information we share. We must avoid the pitfall of becoming akin to sensationalist media, merely reporting on the existence of threats without providing actionable intelligence. Our role in the cybersecurity community is not just to raise alarms, but to equip each other with the tools and knowledge to respond effectively.

To illustrate this point, let’s delve into the recent coverage of the emerging threat known as Abyss Locker. While numerous articles have highlighted the existence of this new ransomware, there has been a noticeable absence of actionable information such as IOCs or TTPs. This lack of detailed intelligence serves as a stark reminder of the improvements we need to make in our threat intelligence sharing practices. In the following sections, we will explore this issue in more depth, examining the current state of Abyss Locker coverage and discussing how we can enhance the quality and usefulness of shared threat intelligence. For example: several articles have covered this threat however none include IOCs, or TTPs.

  1. Abyss Locker Ransomware Looks to Drown VMware’s ESXi Servers – Dark Reading
  2. Linux version of Abyss Locker ransomware targets VMware – Bleeping Computer
  3. Now Abyss Locker also targets VMware ESXi servers – Security Affairs
  4. VMware ESXi servers impacted by Abyss Locker for Linux – SC Magazine
  5. Linux Version of Abyss Locker Ransomware Targets – Linux Security

While the sharing of threat intelligence is crucial, it’s equally important that the shared information is meaningful and actionable. Simply sharing the name of a new ransomware variant, like Abyss Locker, without any accompanying IOCs or TTPs, is not particularly helpful. It’s like sounding an alarm without pointing to where the fire is. We, as a community, can and should do better.

Ransomware is a serious and growing threat, and it’s only through meaningful and effective intelligence sharing that we can hope to combat it. This is not just a call to arms, but a call to share better, share smarter, and share more effectively. Let’s not just share to tick a box, but share to make a difference.

The Power of Shared Intelligence

Sharing threat intelligence allows organisations to benefit from the experiences and insights of others, enabling them to anticipate and prepare for potential threats. It’s a proactive approach that shifts the paradigm from reactive defence to proactive prevention.

The Pros and Cons of Sharing Threat Intelligence

While sharing threat intelligence has numerous benefits, it’s not without its challenges. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons:

Enhanced threat visibility and anticipationPotential for sensitive information leakage
Faster response timesMisinterpretation or misuse of shared data
Strengthened collective defenceLegal and regulatory constraints

Mitigating the Risks

Despite the potential risks, many organisations have successfully navigated these challenges and are actively sharing threat intelligence. Here are some strategies to mitigate the risks:

  1. Sensitive Information Leakage: Implement strict data anonymisation and sanitisation processes before sharing any intelligence.
  2. Misinterpretation or Misuse of Shared Data: Establish clear guidelines and context for the shared intelligence.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Constraints: Engage legal counsel to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Resourcing for Intelligence Sharing

Sharing threat intelligence doesn’t necessarily require a dedicated team or significant resources. Existing security teams can incorporate intelligence sharing into their roles with the right training and tools.


Courses like the SANS Cyber Threat Intelligence course can equip your team with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively share and utilise threat intelligence.

Processes and Procedures

Frameworks like the MITRE ATT&CK provide a structured approach to understanding adversary behaviour, which can enhance the value of shared intelligence.

Getting Started: 10 Steps to Better Sharing

  1. Join an Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (ISAC) or a MISP (Malware Information Sharing Platform) community.
  2. Share malware samples on platforms like VirusShare.
  3. Implement strict data anonymisation and sanitisation processes.
  4. Establish clear guidelines for the interpretation and use of shared data.
  5. Engage legal counsel to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
  6. Train your team in threat intelligence sharing.
  7. Incorporate threat intelligence sharing into existing roles and responsibilities.
  8. Use structured frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK to enhance the value of shared intelligence.
  9. Regularly review and update your threat intelligence sharing practices.
  10. Foster a culture of collaboration and information sharing within the cybersecurity community.

Sharing threat intelligence is a powerful tool in the fight against cyber threats. By working together, we can build a stronger, more resilient cyber defence. The time to start sharing is now. Let’s unleash the power of collective defense.