Problem: Group Policy for Cryptowall Prevention

Steve Hood
Steve Hood used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi Everyone,

I've implemented Computer Policy for our domain as suggested on various websites such that exe. cannot run in system folders %appdata% and %temp%

Now I have a big problem. I can no longer install legitimate software to any computers that are joined to domain.

Any suggestions, workarounds? Log in as local computer administrator perhaps?

Thanks,
Steve
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Exec Consultant
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
That is expected and required as installation will be done by malware including ransomware. Understand it is stringent but it is really a balance instead and not to give user such installation rights. But can consider
How can I temporarily allow a user to run or install applications?
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There are a variety of methods, and the best one will depend on your administrative practices. The following are some possible methods:

• You can set the enforcement mode on the relevant rule collection to Audit only so AppLocker will not block any application for the present time. Then, you can change the enforcement mode to Enforce rules when you are ready.

• You can create an organizational unit (OU) that has a separate set of rules but does not block the users from running a particular application. Move the user to this OU temporarily while they install the update or application. Then, move them back to the OU where the original rule enforcement occurs.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee619725(v=ws.10).aspx#BKMK_TempInstall

so need to enable specific whitelist path and do check out cryptoprevent which has also GPO support http://www.thewindowsclub.com/prevent-cryptolocker-ransomware-cryptoprevent

But for Ransomware preventive, I do suggest a more holistic measures as application whitelisting, so do check out some EE articles
http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18086/Ransomware-Prevention-is-the-only-solution.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/20879/Ransomware-is-rampant-don't-be-caught-out.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/21199/Ransomware-Beware.html
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Admins don't have to be affected by your policies, change that. User cannot install, anyway.
btanExec Consultant
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Further from FAQ
Can you block all applications except from a certain software publisher?
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Yes. You can do this by creating a publisher condition rule that allows all files to run that are signed by the specific software publisher. In some cases for binaries that are created dynamically, you could create a path rule condition.

Why can only an administrator change AppLocker policies?
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This prevents any standard user that is logged on to a computer from modifying the AppLocker rules to access or add an application. On a computer that is joined to a domain, the computer's administrator can create AppLocker rules that could be merged with a domain-level rules as stated in the domain GPO.
 
Can AppLocker rules be created to allow certain computer users to access a program and deny access to others?
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Yes, you can target AppLocker rules to users and groups. You can create as many rules as you want for the same application. For example, you could have one rule that allows the Finance group to run winword.exe, and you could also have a second rule that allows the HR group to run winword.exe.

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