Block Execution from Local and Network Folders

Many attack scenarios are based on writing malicious executable files in remote folders and common local folders—such as temp and download—and then running those executable files. By default, Traps allows benign executable files to run from any local folder. By configuring an Execution Path Restriction rule you can restrict the locations from which executable files can run. For increased flexibility, you can configure the Execution Path Restriction to restrict both local and remote folders and executable files. Common applications for this rule include the ability to restrict:
  • Specific executable files run locally, for example:
    %MySystemDrive%\myfolder\temp\malware.exe
  • Any executable run from a specific local folder or subfolders, for example:
    C:\temp\*
  • Specific executable files run from a remote location, for example:
    \\remoteserver\folder\malware.exe
  • Specific remote locations, for example:
    \\remoteserver\*
When you enable this restriction rule, all executable files are permitted to run unless they match the folders or files specified in the rule. If a user tries to open an executable file from a blocked location, Traps blocks the attempt and reports the security event to the ESM Server.
For a more stringent security policy, consider configuring a network folder behavior rule which blocks all executables run from remote network folders except for those expressly whitelisted (see Whitelist a Network Folder).
You can also configure an exception for a local folder by adding the folder to the a whitelist (see Manage Global Whitelists). The whitelists take precedence over the blacklist and enables executable files in specific locations to always run.
  1. Begin a new restriction rule:
    1. Select PoliciesMalwareRestrictions.
    2. From the action menu manage-hidden-menu-icon.png , Add a new restriction rule.
    3. Select Execution Path Restriction.
  2. Block an executable file or files run from a local folder.
    1. Select the option to Restrict file execution from the locations.
    2. Click the add folder icon 3.1-add-folder-icon.png , and Add the executable file or folder path to the Blacklist section.
      To blacklist a folder, you must terminate the path with a wildcard. For example, C:\temp\* matches any file launched from the C:\temp\ folder or subfolder).
      For additional syntax examples, see Wildcards and Variables in Policy Rules.
    3. Repeat the previous step to add multiple paths as needed.
  3. (Optional) Add Conditions to the rule. By default, a new rule does not contain any conditions.
    To specify a condition, select the Conditions tab, select the condition in the Conditions list, and then Add it to the Selected Conditions list. Repeat this step to add more conditions, as needed. To add a condition to the Conditions list, see Define Activation Conditions for a Rule on Windows Endpoints.
  4. (Optional) Define the Target Objects to which to apply the restriction rule. By default, a new rule applies to all objects in your organization.
    To define a subset of target objects, select the Objects tab, and then enter one or more Users, Computers, Groups, Organizational Unit, or Existing Endpoints in the Include or Exclude areas. The Endpoint Security Manager queries Active Directory to verify the users, computers, groups, or organizational units or identifies existing endpoints from previous communication messages.
  5. (Optional) Review the rule name and description. The ESM Console automatically generates the rule name and description based on the rule details but permits you to change these fields, if needed.
    To override the autogenerated name, select the Name tab, clear the Activate automatic description option, and then enter a rule name and description of your choice.
  6. Save the restrictions rule.
    Do either of the following:
    • Save the rule without activating it. This option is only available for inactive, cloned, or new rules. When you are ready to activate the rule, select the rule from the PoliciesMalwareRestrictions page and then click Activate.
    • Apply the rule to activate it immediately.
    After saving or applying a rule, you can return to the Restrictions page at any time to Delete or Deactivate the rule.

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