A Python library for parsing, manipulating, and generating MAEC content.
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A Python library for parsing, manipulating, and generating Malware Attribute Enumeration and Characterization (MAEC™) content.


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A primary goal of the python-maec library is to remain faithful to both the MAEC standard and to customary Python practices. There are places where these will conflict, and the goal is to make the library intuitive both to those familiar with the XML schemas (but less familiar with Python) and also to experienced Python developers who want to add MAEC support to their programs.

There are currently two levels of APIs for dealing with MAEC content:

  • A low-level API is provided by auto-generated XML Schema - Python class bindings. These bindings were generated using generateDS. With these, any MAEC content can be parsed from or written to XML, but requires a bit more knowledge of the actual MAEC schemas. These "binding classes" are all located in the maec.bindings package.
  • A higher-level API consisting of manually designed Python classes. These "native classes" are intended to behave more like Python programmers would expect. As they are designed manually, they currently do not support the entire MAEC standard, but rather those object types we expect are used most frequently. These "native classes" also support exporting their content as Python dictionaries and lists, which can easily be converted to JSON. Importing from JSON is also supported.


The python-maec library is tested against Python 2.7 and 3.4+.


Releases of the python-maec library will be given version numbers of the form major.minor.update.revision, where major, minor, and update correspond to the MAEC version being supported. The revision number is used to indicate new versions of the python-maec library itself.


The python-maec library can be installed via the distutils setup.py script included at the root directory:

$ python setup.py install

The python-maec library is also hosted on PyPI and can be installed with pip:

$ pip install maec


The maec package depends on the following Python libraries:

  • lxml
  • python-cybox
  • setuptools (only if installing using setup.py)

For Windows installers of the above libraries, we recommend looking here: http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs. python-cybox can be found at https://github.com/CybOXProject/python-cybox/releases.

To build lxml on Ubuntu, you will need the following packages from the Ubuntu package repository:

  • python-dev
  • libxml2-dev
  • libxslt1-dev
  • zlib1g-dev

For more information about installing lxml, see http://lxml.de/installation.html.


Bug reports and feature requests are welcome and encouraged. Pull requests are especially appreciated. Feel free to use the issue tracker on GitHub, join the MAEC Community Email Discussion List, or send an email directly to maec@mitre.org.