Guidelines for URL Category Exception Lists
You can use wildcards in URL Category exception lists
to easily configure a single entry to match to multiple website
subdomains and pages, without having to specify exact subdomains
Follow these guidelines when creating wildcard entries:
The following characters are considered token separators:
. / ? & = ; +
Every string separated by one or two of these characters
is a token. Use wildcard characters as token placeholders, indicating
that a specific token can contain any value.
You can use either an asterisk (*) or a caret (^) in place
of a token, to indicate a wildcard value.
Wildcard characters must be the only character within a token;
however, an entry can contain multiple wildcards.
When to use asterisk (*) wildcards:
Use an asterisk (*) wildcard to indicate one or multiple variable
subdomains. For example, to specify enforcement for Palo Alto Network’s
website regardless of the domain extension used, which might be
one or two subdomains depending on location, you would add the entry:
This entry would match to both www.paloaltonetworks.com and www.paloaltonetworks.co.uk.
When to use caret (^) wildcards:
Use caret (^) wildcards to indicate one variable subdomain, and
might be helpful when targeting an exact number of subdomains for
enforcement. For example,
only to URLs like
entry wouldn’t match to a site like
where the URL includes an additional subdomain.
Do not create an entry with consecutive asterisk (*) wildcards
or more than nine consecutive caret (^) wildcards—entries like these
can affect firewall performance.
For example, do not add an entry like mail.*.*.com; instead,
depending on the range of websites you want to control access to,
An entry like
matches to a greater
number of sites than
to sites with any number of subdomains and