Configure Child Process Protection
The Child Process Protection MPM for Windows endpoints prevents script-based attacks used to deliver malware such as ransomware. To prevent these attacks, the MPM is enabled by default and blocks known targeted processes from launching child processes commonly used to bypass traditional security approaches.
For increased flexibility, you can configure the module to operate in one of two ways:
- Use a whitelist to block all child processes initiated by a process except for those specified in the whitelist.
- Use a blacklist to allow a process to run all child processes except for those specified in the blacklist.
You can also define whether you want Traps to evaluate a list of child processes or whether to evaluate a specific argument supplied to a child process.
To evaluate your child process protection policy, Traps merges all applicable child process protection rules into a single policy. User-defined child process protection rules take precedence over default child process protection rules.
Use the following workflow to configure enhanced child process protection:
- Configure a new malware protection rule.Select.PoliciesMalwareProtection Modules
- SelectWindowsas the operating system (child process protection is not supported on Mac endpoints).
- From the action menu , selectAdd.
- SelectChild Process Protectionand configure the rule settings:
- Activation—SelectOnto enable child process protection orOffto disable child process protection.
- Action—Select the action to take when a process attempts to call a child process: Block the child process from running (Prevention), or permit the child process to run and log the issue (Notification). Alternatively, you can choose toInheritthe behavior from the preceding rule in the rule hierarchy.To view additional details about the default policy, selectand then selectPoliciesMalwareProtection ModulesShow Default Rulesfrom the action menu.
- User Alert—Specify the notification behavior when a process attempts to call a child process, eitherOnto notify the user, orOffto suppress notifications. Alternatively, you can choose toInheritthe behavior from the preceding rule in the rule hierarchy.
- Configure the behavior of the module:
- Select theBehaviorof the module: UseAllowed Processesto configure a whitelist orRestricted Processesto configure a blacklist.
- Determine how you want Traps to evaluate child processes initiated by the parent process:
These options also support the same environment variables and wildcards that you can use in restriction rules. For example, to configure a rule for iexplorer.exe which blocks that process from launching SCR files from the temp folder, you can use environment variables and wildcards to specify%temp%\*.scr. For more information about using environment variables and wildcards, see Wildcards and Variables in Policy Rules.
- Child Process List—To allow or block child processes without evaluating command-line arguments, add one or more processes to theChild Process List(one per line). Traps whitelists or blacklists these processes according to theBehavioryou selected in the previous step. If you selectRestricted Processbehavior, Traps adds any child processes you specify to the blacklist which is defined in the content update of your security policy.To block or allow a source process to run all child processes, selectSingle Process, and leave both fields blank.
- Single Process—To evaluate the command-line parameters of a single child process, enter the child process path (full or partial) and the parameters. If you specify only the process name, Traps evaluates the process run from any path. For example, if you specifycscript.exewith the parameterC:\myorg\myorgscript.batand aBehaviorofRestricted Processes, the parent process (which you define on theProcessestab) will not be allowed to run the child process (in this example,cscript.exe) with the defined parameter. When you have multiple rules for the same parent and child process, Traps merges the command-line parameters for all user and default policy rules.
- Select theProcessestab andAddone or more source processes to which Traps will apply child process protection. As you type, the ESM Console provides auto-completion based the list of processes defined in the ESM Console.
- (Optional) Add Conditions to the rule. By default, a new rule does not contain any conditions.To specify a condition, select theConditionstab, select the condition in the Conditions list, and thenAddit to the Selected Conditions list. Repeat this step to add more conditions, as needed. You can also define new Conditions.
- (Optional) Define the Target Objects to which to apply the rule.To define a smaller subset of target objects, select theObjectstab, and then enter one or moreAD Users,AD Computers,AD Groups,AD Organizational Unit,Existing Endpoints, orExisting Groupsin the Include or Exclude areas. The Endpoint Security Manager queries Active Directory to verify the users, computers, groups, or organizational units. The ESM Console also offers autocompletion as you type for existing endpoints and existing virtual groups.
- (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 theNametab, clear theActivate automatic descriptionoption, and then enter a rule name and description of your choice.
- Save the malware protection rule.Do either of the following:
After saving or applying a rule, you can return to theProtection Modulespage at any time toDeleteorDeactivatethe rule.
- Savethe 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 thepage and then clickPoliciesExploitProtection ModulesActivate.
- Applythe rule to activate it immediately.
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