unable to block exe files after using File blocking Profile

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unable to block exe files after using File blocking Profile

L1 Bithead

I have followed https://docs.paloaltonetworks.com/pan-os/8-1/pan-os-admin/threat-prevention/set-up-file-blocking and created a file blocking profile to block Downloads of exe format while browsing. But it still does not block the exe downloads on the server i applied the file blocking profile.


Please check  and suggest the fix.


Accepted Solutions



All of the items in the Objects tab do not have any affect on traffic if they are not attached to Policies. This includes Decryption Profile/s.

1. So - the File Blocking (FB) Profile must be attached to a security rule.

2. I highly recommend splitting your issue into two parts, get FB working then tackle Decryption. For FB I would recommend you try to download this test file from Palo Alto as it uses the HTTP protocol hence no need for decryption, yet.


(This is an anti-virus test file, it will probably get blocked by AV software but it does not matter as all we want is for it to download or get blocked by the filewall)

If you see it blocked and logged under Monitor-> Data Filtering - it means FB is working for non-encrypted traffic. Continue to enable Decryption:


3. For Decryption you really should read the above mentioned articles and notes by @BPry as enabling it requires:

3a. Generating Decryption Certificates on the firewall, self-signed for testing or Corporate CA signed (much preferred)

3b. Having them in all computers, trusted root certificate store

3c. Creating a Decryption Policy under Policies->Decryption: for testing start with:

Source Zone Internal (or whatever you named it)

Dest Zone External (or whatever you named it)

Service: service_http + service_https

Action: Decrypt

Type: SSL Forward Proxy

Decryption Profile: is optional

3d. In some older PANOS versions you must also allow in Security rules Application=web-browsing & service=service_https (this is not the default, hence needs adding).

* This might look like easy 4 steps but trust me - it isn't.


Lastly, log into the learning center at:


Search for EDU-110, register for it for free and start watching this online training about the NGFW, but note that the training center is being moved you might be redirected to the new training site in a few days.




View solution in original post


L4 Transporter



Here are a few tips I hope will help:

1. In the blocking profile put EXE & PE together (portable-executable), direction=download, action=block, application=any (test then change as needed) make sure this is the only rule in the file blocking profile, or the top rule if other file blocking-alert rules exist.

2. Try to use a non-https protocol either FTP or HTTP as HTTPS will require you to use SSL decryption that you did not state if you were using or not.

3. I assume you checked traffic was hitting the rule that has this profile attached to it.




Hi  ShaiW,

Thanks for the Quick Reply.


1.Yes i made sure file blocking profile is created as suggested.



2. The requirement in general we want is that all our users to be blocked from downloading install files like .exe files when they do browsing from internet - so please suggest how to setup  SSL decryption if that is needed to achieve for HTTPS as well. 


As of we have a Decryption Profile enabled, but i see that under ->SSL Decryption - -No options are selected.

Decryption Profile.PNG


3. Yes I checked that the traffic is hitting the rule that this profile is attached and result is allowed and nothing is getting blocked as of now.


Please let me know if you need me to check anything else.


Note: I'm a Newbie to Palo Alto, so please excuse my knowledge.





There's a lot of documents surrounding setting up SSL Decryption, I'll link a few of them below. The screenshot that you posted just says that you aren't following best practice on the profile, but decryption would actually be "activated" so to speak by setting up a Decryption rulebase policy. You'll definitely want to read up on that prior to activating it; there's client changes you'll need to make so they don't get security warnings and potential legal requirements depending on what regulatory bodies you may fall under and local laws. 


The second link has a video that @jdelio made that walks you through the process of getting this setup. 



Hi Pry,


Actually this is Non-Prod, so we dont have any users- hence will  not affect anybody,  I am  the User who will  test the file blocking.

I am going through the documents you send, will  update if any of the settings work to help me block the exe files.

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