Configure DNS Sinkholing for a List of Custom Domains

Advanced Threat Prevention

Configure DNS Sinkholing for a List of Custom Domains

Table of Contents

Configure DNS Sinkholing for a List of Custom Domains

Where Can I Use This?
What Do I Need?
  • NGFW
  • Advanced Threat Prevention or Threat Prevention License
To enable DNS Sinkholing for a custom list of domains, you must create an External Dynamic List that includes the domains, enable the sinkhole action in an Anti-Spyware profile and attach the profile to a security policy rule. When a client attempts to access a malicious domain in the list, the firewall forges the destination IP address in the packet to the default Palo Alto Networks server or to a user-defined IP address for sinkholing.
For each custom domain included in the external dynamic list, the firewall generates DNS-based spyware signatures. The signature is named Custom Malicious DNS Query <domain name>, and is of type spyware with medium severity; each signature is a 24-byte hash of the domain name.
Each firewall model supports a maximum of 50,000 domain names total in one or more external dynamic lists but no maximum limit is enforced for any one list.
  1. Enable DNS sinkholing for the custom list of domains in an external dynamic list.
    1. Select
      Security Profiles
    2. Modify an existing profile, or select one of the existing default profiles and clone it.
    3. Name
      the profile and select the
      DNS Policies
    4. Select an EDL from the
      External Dynamic Lists
      signature source.
      If you have already created an external dynamic list of type:
      Domain List
      , you can select it from here. The list does not display external dynamic lists of type URL or IP Address that you may have created.
    5. Configure the external dynamic list from the Anti-Spyware profile (see Configure the Firewall to Access an External Dynamic List). The
      is preset to
      Domain List
    6. (
      ) In the
      Packet Capture
      drop-down, select
      to capture the first packet of the session or
      to set between 1-50 packets. You can then use the packet captures for further analysis.
  2. Verify the sinkholing settings on the Anti-Spyware profile.
    1. On the
      DNS Policies
      tab, verify that the
      Policy Action
      on DNS queries is
    2. In the DNS Sinkhole Settings section, verify that
      is enabled. For your convenience, the default Sinkhole IP address is set to access a Palo Alto Networks server. Palo Alto Networks can automatically refresh this IP address through content updates.
      If you want to modify the
      Sinkhole IPv4
      Sinkhole IPv6
      address to a local server on your network or to a loopback address, see Configure the Sinkhole IP Address to a Local Server on Your Network.
    3. Click
      to save the Anti-Spyware profile.
  3. Attach the Anti-Spyware profile to a Security policy rule.
    1. Select
      and select a security policy rule.
    2. On the
      tab, select the
      Log at Session Start
      check box to enable logging.
    3. In the Profile Setting section, click the
      Profile Type
      drop-down to view all
      . From the
      drop-down and select the new profile.
    4. Click
      to save the policy rule.
  4. Test that the policy action is enforced.
    1. View External Dynamic List Entries that belong to the domain list, and access a domain from the list.
    2. To monitor the activity on the firewall:
      1. Select
        and add a URL Domain as a global filter to view the Threat Activity and Blocked Activity for the domain you accessed.
      2. Select
        and filter by
        (action eq sinkhole)
        to view logs on sinkholed domains.
  5. Verify whether entries in the external dynamic list are ignored or skipped.
    Use the following CLI command on the firewall to review the details about the list.
    request system external-list show type domain name
    For example:
    request system external-list show type domain name My_List_of_Domains_2015 vsys1/EBLDomain: Next update at : Thu May 21 10:15:39 2015 Source : Referenced : Yes Valid : Yes Number of entries : 3
  6. (
    ) Retrieve the external dynamic list on-demand.
    To force the firewall to retrieve the updated list on-demand instead of at the next refresh interval (the
    frequency you defined for the external dynamic list), use the following CLI command:
    request system external-list refresh type domain name
    As an alternative, you can use the firewall interface to Retrieve an External Dynamic List from the Web Server.

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