Objects > Security Profiles > Vulnerability Protection
A Security policy rule can include specification of a Vulnerability Protection profile that determines the level of protection against buffer overflows, illegal code execution, and other attempts to exploit system vulnerabilities. There are two predefined profiles available for the Vulnerability Protection feature:
- Thedefaultprofile applies the default action to all client and server critical, high, and medium severity vulnerabilities. It does not detect low and informational vulnerability protection events. The Palo Alto Networks content package on the device determines the default action.
- Thestrictprofile applies the block response to all client and server critical, high and medium severity spyware events and uses the default action for low and informational vulnerability protection events.
Customized profiles can be used to minimize vulnerability checking for traffic between trusted security zones, and to maximize protection for traffic received from untrusted zones, such as the Internet, as well as the traffic sent to highly sensitive destinations, such as server farms. To apply Vulnerability Protection profiles to Security policies, refer to Policies > Security.
Apply a Vulnerability Protection profile to every Security Policy rule that allows traffic to protect against buffer overflows, illegal code execution, and other attempts to exploit client- and server-side vulnerabilities.
The Rules settings specify collections of signatures to enable, as well as actions to be taken when a signature within a collection is triggered.
The Exceptions settings allows you to change the response to a specific signature. For example, you can block all packets that match a signature, except for the selected one, which generates an alert. The
Exceptiontab supports filtering functions.
Vulnerability Protectionpage presents a default set of columns. Additional columns of information are available by using the column chooser. Click the arrow to the right of a column header and select the columns from the Columns sub-menu.
The following tables describe the Vulnerability Protection profile settings:
Vulnerability Protection Profile Settings
Enter a profile name (up to 31 characters). This name appears in the list of Vulnerability Protection profiles when defining security policies. The name is case-sensitive and must be unique. Use only letters, numbers, spaces, hyphens, periods, and underscores.
Enter a description for the profile (up to 255 characters).
Select this option if you want the profile to be available to:
Disable override (
Select this option to prevent administrators from overriding the settings of this Vulnerability Protection profile in device groups that inherit the profile. This selection is cleared by default, which means administrators can override the settings for any device group that inherits the profile.
Specify a name to identify the rule.
Specify a text string to match. The firewall applies a collection of signatures to the rule by searching signature names for this text string.
Specify common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) if you want to limit the signatures to those that also match the specified CVEs.
Each CVE is in the format CVE-yyyy-xxxx, where yyyy is the year and xxxx is the unique identifier. You can perform a string match on this field. For example, to find vulnerabilities for the year 2011, enter “2011”.
Specify whether to limit the signatures for the rule to those that are client side, server side, or either (
Select severities to match (
critical) if you want to limit the signatures to those that also match the specified severities.
Choose the action to take when the rule is triggered. For a list of actions, see Actions in Security Profiles.
Defaultaction is based on the pre-defined action that is part of each signature provided by Palo Alto Networks. To view the default action for a signature, select
Addor select an existing profile. Click the
Exceptionstab and then click
Show all signaturesto see a list of all signatures and the associated
For the best security, set the Action for both client and server critical, high, and medium severity events to
reset-bothand use the default action for Informational and Low severity events.
Select this option if you want to capture identified packets.
single-packetto capture one packet when a threat is detected, or select the
extended-captureoption to capture from 1 to 50 packets (default is 5 packets). Extended-capture provides more context to the threat when analyzing the threat logs. To view the packet capture, select
and locate the log entry you are interested in and then click the green down arrow in the second column. To define the number of packets that should be captured, select
and then edit the Content-ID Settings.
If the action for a given threat is allow, the firewall does not trigger a Threat log and does not capture packets. If the action is alert, you can set the packet capture to single-packet or extended-capture. All blocking actions (drop, block, and reset actions) capture a single packet. The content package on the device determines the default action.
Enable extended-capture for critical, high, and medium severity events and single-packet capture for low severity events. Use the default extended-capture value of 5 packets, which provides enough information to analyze the threat in most cases. (Too much packet capture traffic may result in dropping packet captures.) Don’t enable packet capture for informational events because it’s not very useful compared to capturing information about higher severity events and creates a relatively high volume of low-value traffic.
Apply extended packet capture using the same logic you use to decide what traffic to log—take extended captures of the traffic you log, including traffic you block.
Enablefor each threat for which you want to assign an action, or select
Allto respond to all listed threats. The list depends on the selected host, category, and severity. If the list is empty, there are no threats for the current selections.
Specify vendor IDs if you want to limit the signatures to those that also match the specified vendor IDs.
For example, the Microsoft vendor IDs are in the form MSyy-xxx, where yy is the two-digit year and xxx is the unique identifier. For example, to match Microsoft for the year 2009, enter “MS09” in the Search field.
Only create a threat exception if you are sure an identified threat is not a threat (false positive). If you believe you have discovered a false positive, open a support case with TAC so Palo Alto Networks can investigate the incorrectly identified threat. When the issue is resolved, remove the exception from the profile immediately.
The vulnerability signature database contains signatures that indicate a brute force attack; for example, Threat ID 40001 triggers on an FTP brute force attack. Brute-force signatures trigger when a condition occurs in a certain time threshold. The thresholds are pre-configured for brute force signatures, and can be changed by clicking edit ( ) next to the threat name on the
Vulnerabilitytab (with the
Customoption selected). You can specify the number of hits per unit of time and whether the threshold applies to source, destination, or source-and-destination.
Thresholds can be applied on a source IP, destination IP or a combination of source IP and destination IP.
The default action is shown in parentheses.
IP Address Exemptions
Click into the
IP Address Exemptionscolumn to
AddIP address filters to a threat exception. When you add an IP address to a threat exception, the threat exception action for that signature will take precedence over the rule's action only if the signature is triggered by a session with either a source or destination IP address matching an IP address in the exception. You can add up to 100 IP addresses per signature. You must enter a unicast IP address (that is, an address without a netmask), such as 10.1.7.8 or 2001:db8:123:1::1. By adding IP address exemptions, you do not have to create a new policy rule and new vulnerability profile to create an exception for a specific IP address.
CVEcolumn shows identifiers for common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE). These unique, common identifiers are for publicly known information security vulnerabilities.
Select a vulnerability category if you want to limit the signatures to those that match that category.
Choose an action from the drop-down, or choose from the
Actiondrop-down at the top of the list to apply the same action to all threats.
Packet Captureif you want to capture identified packets.
Show all signatures
Show all signaturesto list all signatures. If
Show all signaturesis disabled, only the signatures that are exceptions are listed.
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