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
      Policies
      Malware
      Restrictions
      .
    2. From the action menu ,
      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 , 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. You can also define new Conditions.
  4. (
    Optional
    ) Define the Target Objects to which to apply the rule.
    To define a smaller subset of target objects, select the
    Objects
    tab, and then enter one or more
    AD Users
    ,
    AD Computers
    ,
    AD Groups
    ,
    AD Organizational Unit
    ,
    Existing Endpoints
    , or
    Existing Groups
    in 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.
  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
      Policies
      Malware
      Restrictions
      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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