Best Practices for Application Policies?

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Best Practices for Application Policies?

L1 Bithead

I was wondering if there is a best practices document for setting up a policy to control particular applications. I've already dug through the Skype tech document which tells to enable unknown applications. Are there any other applications that work better or require unknown applications to be enabled? To take it further, is there an application dependency list available? For example when creating a policy allowing bittorrent traffic out, the firewall prompts during the verification process that web-browsing should be enabled for bittorrent. Is there a document that will say “X application requires Y application to work correctly”. I would prefer not to find out during the verification process.

- FJ

19 REPLIES 19

First, it is not just msn2go that requires http (or actually the app called web-browsing). The commit checking just presents the first issue is runs into. In this case, all of the apps in your browser-based IM group will require web-browsing in order to function. Without this, the HTTP decoding function does not occur and no HTTP-based applications will be allowed. In order for any of the HTTP-based applications to be allowed, there must be a rule allowing web-browsing. As I mentioned, this does not allow any otherwise classified App-IDs, only unclassified web-browsing traffic.

Mike

Hmm I will verify this on monday because im pretty sure that "web-browsing" is already allowed in the same application filter that have selected the im-group, and yet during commit I get a warning that "msn2go" needs "http" to function.

This is with 3.0.6 with current of today (26 feb) threat/app db (170-something if im not mistaken).

As Mike stated, you need to allow the "web-browsing" application for web-based applications to function.  This allows the HTTP decoder to activate.  This only allows generic HTTP web-browsing and not other more-specific web applications we have signatures for.  You can further control the generic "web-browsing" application via URL filtering profile.

If you want to enable web-based IM you might want to create a policy that includes the IM and web-browsing applications, then add a URL filtering profile to that rule to block most categories of generic web-browsing that doesn't fit into an existing web application signature.  You might need to tweak the URL filtering profile a bit and make some exceptions depending on how restrictive you make it.

Cheers,

Kelly

"web-browsing" is already allowed but it doesnt seem to work as expected.

I created an application filter named "SURF_browser-based" containing:

Technologies:
browser-based

Subcategories:
email
erp-crm
file-sharing
general-business
instant-messaging
internet-utility
office-programs
social-networking
storage-backup
web-posting

and assign it to a policy to allow the applications which are contained in the above subcategories (note how instant-messaging is included along with web-browsing which is in internet-utility if im not mistaken).

After commit the output is:

    * device: Rule 'SURF' application dependency warning:
    * - Application 'zimbra' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'zimbra' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'zimbra' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'zimbra' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'zimbra' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'zimbra' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'mobile-me' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'mobile-me' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'mobile-me' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'mobile-me' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'mobile-me' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'mobile-me' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'msn2go' requires 'http' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'msn2go' requires 'http' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'msn2go' requires 'http' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'msn2go' requires 'http' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'msn2go' requires 'http' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'msn2go' requires 'http' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bebo' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bebo' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bebo' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bebo' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bebo' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bebo' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'aim-express' requires 'aim' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'aim-express' requires 'aim' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'aim-express' requires 'aim' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'aim-express' requires 'aim' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'aim-express' requires 'aim' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'aim-express' requires 'aim' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'woome' requires 'rtmp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'woome' requires 'rtmp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'woome' requires 'rtmp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'woome' requires 'rtmp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'woome' requires 'rtmp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'woome' requires 'rtmp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bigupload' requires 'ftp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bigupload' requires 'ftp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bigupload' requires 'ftp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bigupload' requires 'ftp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bigupload' requires 'ftp' allowed in the policy
    * - Application 'bigupload' requires 'ftp' allowed in the policy
    * Configuration committed successfully

Note the warning regarding msn2go which I feel is a bit odd since both web-browsing and msn2go are allowed...

RPS,

I will look into this issue on the support side.

If you have an active support contract can you send an email to support@paloaltonetworks.com and include the following information:

Pan device serial number

PanOS version installed

Content database installed

I will open a case to investigate.

Thank you.

Mail sent 🙂

Hi I am new at this board.

I have the same prablem with after submitting  policy like:

# Application 'http-video' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'uusee' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'move-networks' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'babelgum' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'peercast' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'myspace-video' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'tvu' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'ppstream' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'tvants' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'photobucket' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'meabox' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'meabox' requires 'fs2you' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'dailymotion' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'limelight' requires 'http-proxy' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'limelight' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'pplive' requires 'pp-accelerator' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'pplive' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'veetle' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'google-picasa' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'ustream' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'bbc-iplayer' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'mogulus' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'ooyala' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'justin.tv' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy
# - Application 'livestation' requires 'web-browsing' allowed in the policy

and many many more. It happend a few days ago but I didn't do anything special in my policy rules.

Can you tell me if you solved this problem?

Thanks

Paul

What Software version are you running? 3.0.10 is the last release of 3.0 since it is now "End of life". 3.1.8 is the most current verison  in the 3.1 family as of this post.  The message is just a warning and should not cause any problems as long as the dependenies are allowed somewhere in the policy list.

If you were to create a rulethat allows Facebook and web-browsing at the top, this rule would allow all web browsing and rules farther down the list would never get used.

Generally speaking, "web-browsing" is a very large net that catches all HTTP traffic. If you want to treat Facebook or gmail or dropbox differently you would need one rule for each and then a rule allowing "web-browsing" at the end.

Steve Krall

Great. So now this is buried in a support case and no one else gets some insight. What was the outcome of this?

I guess the appid's regarding these findings were updated (but I agree would be nice with a reply from a PA representative on what happend in these particular cases).

Today I would guess installing PANOS 5.0 (or newer) is the way to go to deal with dependencies.

Because one of the new features with PANOS 5.0 is that it will handle dependencies when needed.

For example allowing x number of packets for a dependency appid and unless the traffic is being identified as the appid you specified (within this range of x number of packets or so) the session will be closed/dropped.

The part to worry about is how many packets will be allowed "under the radar" (and how to notify the admin what he/she is about to do when creating such security policy).

Today if you wish to allow facebook you must also statically allow web-browsing (if im not mistaken).

This doesnt mean that all http traffic are allowed (because other appids like youtube etc will trigger if identified since a session can only have one appid at a time) but it means that all http traffic which doesnt match any known appid will be allowed.

This is of course somewhat bad (in most cases) and you need to add a custom url-filter to limit the http requests to only *.facebook.com (and which other domains facebook are using).

Now with PANOS 5.0 (as I understand it) it will work if you just allow facebook and nothing more (still using url filtering is healthy but if we stick to appid's for now 🙂

When facebook is allowed in PANOS 5.0 it will in the background allow web-browsing but only for x number of packets.

This is of course way better than in PANOS 4.1 and older where you had to statically allow web-browsing for all future but still I think education of the admins configuring PA-devices will be needed.

In this case it would be great if PA could provide us (the customers 🙂 with a dependency list along with the limit list (like if I allow facebook, how many web-browsing packets will be allowed) - because as I see this (currently) this might open up for a logical evasion techniques (the admin thinks only facebook is allowed but this custom botnet will still be able to phone home 2 packets per session or such).

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