URL Filtering Category Modifications: Grayware & Questionable

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URL Filtering Category Modifications: Grayware and QuestionableURL Filtering Category Modifications: Grayware and Questionable

In late October 2020, we will redefine two existing URL Filtering categories.  The Grayware category’s definition will be expanding and the Questionable category's definition will be narrowed.


ACTION:  Action may be required.  Please consider impact in alignment with organizational policies.


What is Grayware?

Palo Alto Networks defines the Grayware category as websites that do not pose a direct security threat but display other obtrusive behavior and tempt the end user to grant remote access or perform unauthorized actions.


The Grayware category will now include websites whose content pertains to scams, illegal activities, criminal activities, and get rich quick sites, as well as adware, and other unwanted or unsolicited applications, such as embedded crypto miners or hijackers that change the elements of the browser.  Additionally the Grayware category will include typosquatting domains that are not defined as phishing or defensive squatting.


What is Questionable?

Palo Alto Networks defines the Questionable category as websites containing tasteless humor, offensive content targeting specific demographics of individuals or groups of people.


The Questionable category will no longer include websites that pertain to illegal activities, criminal activities, or get rich quick sites, as these are now included in the Grayware category.


Why are we redefining these categories?

Some customers may want to allow access to some questionable content such as tasteless humor, while continuing to block access to suspect content, such as criminal activities and get rich quick sites.  Because they currently reside in the same category, Questionable, the customer would need to either block all access or allow access to the category.  Blocking the category and creating exceptions is not scalable.  The additional separation of the topics between the Grayware and Questionable categories will allow customers to easily implement this policy decision.


When will these new category definitions be effective?

Late October 2020


Are there test domains for these categories?

Grayware: http://urlfiltering.paloaltonetworks.com/test-grayware

Questionable: http://urlfiltering.paloaltonetworks.com/test-questionable


Additional Information

Best Practices: URL Filtering Category Recommendations

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