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URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Hello,

 

Hope you are doing good.

We are just wondering, why there are loads of sites detected by URL filtering as botnets or Spyware/Malicious sites

but those are not prevented by active Anti-Bot or Anti-Virus blade. 

 

Thanks,

 

Juraj

 

image.png

16 Replies

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

What is your exact question ? Three blades with three different fields of work, see the details for two in Threat Prevention Administration Guide R80.30 :

The Anti-Bot Software Blade uses these procedures to identify bot infected computers: 

• Identify the C&C addresses used by criminals to control bots 

These web sites are constantly changing and new sites are added on an hourly basis. Bots can attempt to connect to thousands of potentially dangerous sites. It is a challenge to know which sites are legitimate and which are not. 

• Identify the communication patterns used by each botnet family 

These communication fingerprints are different for each family and can be used to identify a botnet family. Research is done for each botnet family to identify the unique language that it uses. There are thousands of existing different botnet families and new ones are constantly emerging. 

• Identify bot behavior 

Identify specified actions for a bot such as, when the computer sends spam or participates in DoS attacks. 

After the discovery of bot infected machines, the Anti-Bot Software Blade blocks outbound communication to C&C sites based on the Rule Base. This neutralizes the threat and makes sure that no sensitive information is sent out. 

The Anti-Virus Software Blade: 

• Identifies malware in the organization using the ThreatSpect engine and ThreatCloud repository: 

• Prevents malware infections from incoming malicious files types (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.) in real-time. Incoming files are classified on the gateway and the result is then sent to the ThreatCloud repository for comparison against known malicious files, with almost no impact on performance. 

• Prevents malware download from the internet by preventing access to sites that are known to be connected to malware. Accessed URLs are checked by the gateway caching mechanisms or sent to the ThreatCloud repository to determine if they are permissible or not. If not, the attempt is stopped before any damage can take place. 

• Uses the ThreatCloud repository to receive binary signature updates and query the repository for URL reputation and Anti-Virus classification. 

In Security Management Administration Guide R80.30 Application Control and URL Filtering is explained as part of Access Control Policy:

Create and manage the Policy for Application Control and URL Filtering in the Access Control Policy, in the Access Control view of SmartConsole. Application Control and URL Filtering rules define which users can use specified applications and sites from within your organization and what application and site usage is recorded in the logs. 

To learn which applications and categories have a high risk, look through the Application Wiki in the Access Tools part of the Security Policies view. Find ideas for applications and categories to include in your Policy. 

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Hello,

 

@G_W_Albrecht 

 

question is why those sites are not being picked up by Anti-Bot blade.

Basically I would not expect to see that infected machine made a successful connection to the malware/botnet site.

I would like to see it prevented by Anti-Bot blade.

For now I can see loads sites picked up by URL filtering blade and marked as malicious/botnet

All those logs are indicating that connection was successfully made.

Whilst Anti-Bot blade is working just fine. We can see some malicious/botnets prevented by Anti-Bot blade.

 

Below is just an example. There are more than 170 of them of this kind.

 

Thanks,

 

Juraj

image.png

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

If you have an APCL/URLF rule that prevents access to this site category, you should involve TAC as it does not work as it should ! Preventing access to known malware URLs in done in access control policy, before ABOT can act.

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Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

@G_W_Albrecht 

 

I agree.

APCL/URLF is within access control policy and only after all is good there firewall moves to Threat Prevention with ABOT.

Is this correct please?

 

In my case APCL/URLF is currently set in Accept action intentionally letting go all botnets and sites to see if ABOT prevents them.

 

And we see logs from APCL/URLF as accepted as that is the result of first access control layer and the same session is now going through second Threat Prevention layer preventing this session at the end by ABOT?

 

Thanks,

 

Juraj

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Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

--> In my case APCL/URLF is currently set in Accept action intentionally letting go all botnets and sites to see if ABOT prevents them.

That makes no sense at all... ABOT works if you have an unknown bot at site on a client PC - but it will not prevent connecting to known malware URL as this is done by URLF blade.

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Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

@G_W_Albrecht 

I mean basically what is shown on the printscreen

domain in this example is being recognized by both blades URLF and ABOT as Spyware/Malicious

We see accept action next to URLF and detect/prevent in ABOT

I just could not understand why we see the traffic allowed by URLF and at the same time blocked by DNS Trap.

 

image.png

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Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

I would suggest to contact TAC to get at the bottom of this...

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Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

OK thank you anyway!

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Employee++
Employee++

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Hi

Do you have the blades configured in hold mode or background for these tests?

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Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Hello,

 

@Chris_Atkinson 

its configured for background classification. Which is fine as "hold mode" would introduce delays in domain resolutions.

 

Thanks,

 

Juraj

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Employee++
Employee++

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Hello,

 

@Chris_Atkinson ,

thank you for your concern.

DNS Trap functionality is clear. What was not clear is why the same session being prevented by DNS Trap was detected by URLF as successful connection to the C&C site.

As far as I understood above suggestion the reason for this is because packets are being inspected by access control policy first (Including URLF) and only after then inspection goes to the Threat Prevention (ABOT)

Implicitly I tried to conclude that packets were dropped by ABOT at the end although the packets were allowed by URLF  in the first place. URLF is at the moment accepting everything for monitoring purposes.

Not sure if above makes sense or not...

 

Thanks,

 

Juraj

 

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Employee++
Employee++

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Unfortunately I can't clearly make out the log screenshot on my mobile device atm, a possible explanation that can be verified with TAC may relate to the position of the DNS server that clients are performing lookups against relative to the gateway.

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Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Please make the situation more clear: Do any of your clients have a BOT on the PC or are you talking about opening a connection to a malware site by purpose ? The later will not trigger ABOT - if URLF is disabled, connection will of course be accepted. I assume that ABOT is all about Bot behavior - when a new C&C site is found by ABOT, CP cloud will be updated and URLF will then prevent any connection.

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Admin
Admin

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

The simple answer is different databases are being used for AV/AB versus URL Filtering.
Which, if you think about, makes sense when you consider the primary purpose of URL Filtering, which is categorizing sites so you can decide to allow/block access to it.
Which is precisely what you should be doing in your Access Policy to sites that are deemed Botnets and Spyware/Malicious Sites.

If you're looking to test AV/AB, see: https://community.checkpoint.com/t5/IPS-Anti-Virus-Anti-Bot-Anti/How-do-I-test-if-Anti-Bot-and-or-An...
If you can provide specific examples of things you feel should be blocked in AV/AB, please send me a PM with details.

Re: URL filtering vs Anti-Bot vs Anti-Virus

Hello,

@PhoneBoy 

yes you are correct.

Thanks for an explanation.

What got confused me is that why URLF is doing what I would call Threat Prevention (blocking botnets etc...)

URLF and ABOT have probably overlapping coverage when it comes to for example blocking malicious sites but they do it on their own.

I see it as even stronger security reinforcement.

I like it.

 

Thanks and regards,

 

Juraj

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