Web Monitor

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WebMonitor 128x128.png     Web Monitor
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Web Monitor Description Page
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Web Monitor FAQs



About Web Monitor

Web Monitor monitors HTTP traffic on your network to monitor user behavior and flag inappropriate content.

  • Real-time classification and updates: When your users visit a site, Untangle sends the URL to the cloud to be categorized. When the data is returned, Untangle keeps a temporary local cache of the site and category to speed up the process the next time the URL is requested. This data is then used to flag or allow users access to the site they have requested, all without any appreciable increase in load time. If a site is not categorized upon request, it is autocategorized by our partners at zVelo and put into a queue to be verified by a human. Because this is done dynamically, new sites and updated URLs are allowed or flagged according to your settings without additional intervention, plus you have the option of requesting recategorization of sites.
  • HTTPS Filtering: Web Monitor has multiple techniques to deal with HTTPS, SSL-encrypted HTTP. HTTPS traffic is encrypted so only some information is visible and this information is used to categorize the session. More information on how this is down below.
  • Detailed categorization: Web Monitor offers over 140 categories and over 450 million categorized sites. The Web Monitor database is over 100 times larger and more accurate. The abundance of categories means that you can narrow your scope - maybe you want to flag websites related to Sex, but allow sites dealing with Sexual Education or Pregnancy.

Traffic Flow

When scanning traffic, Web Monitor evaluates the pass lists, flag lists, categories, and rules at two distinct points of the HTTP transaction. The first evaluation happens after the request is received from the client and before it is forwarded to the server. The second is after the response is received from the server and before it is passed back to the client. This allows a high degree of monitoring over both resources that are requested, and content that is returned in response.

HTTP Request

When evaluating HTTP requests, Web Monitor applies the configured rules and lists in the following order:

  1. A lookup is performed to determine the category for the requested site. The category is attached to the session for use by Web Monitor as well as other applications.
  2. The source IP of the request is checked against the Pass Clients list. If a match is found, the traffic is allowed.
  3. The destination site of the request is checked against the Pass Sites list. If a match is found, the traffic is allowed.
  4. The destination site of the request is checked against the Flag Sites list. If a match is found, the traffic is flagged.
  5. The traffic details are passed to the Rules list. If a match is found, the traffic is allowed and possibly flagged based on the options configured in the rule that was matched.
  6. The category determined in step #1 is compared to the Categories list, and the traffic is allowed and possibly flagged based on the corresponding match. If the category could not be determined, the traffic is allowed.

HTTP Response

When evaluating HTTP responses, Web Monitor applies the configured rules and lists in the following order:

  1. The source IP of the request is checked against the Pass Clients list. If a match is found, the traffic is allowed.
  2. The site from which the response was received is checked against the Pass Sites list. If a match is found, the traffic is allowed.
  3. The traffic details are passed to the Rules list. If a match is found, the traffic is allowed and possibly flagged based on the options configured in the rule that was matched.

Settings

This section reviews the different settings and configuration options available for Web Monitor.

Categories

Categories allows you to customize which categories of sites will be flagged. Categories that are flagged will allow the user to access the site, but will be silently flagged as a violation for event logs and Reports. These flag actions operate the same way for all of the different Web Monitor options.

Categories

Flag Sites

Under Flag Sites you can add individual domain names you want to be flagged - just enter the domain name (e.g. youtube.com) and specify your chosen action. This list uses URL Matcher syntax.

A few sites entered into the Flag Sites list

Pass Sites

Pass Sites is used to pass content that would have otherwise been flagged. This can be useful for "unflagging" sites that you don't want flagged according to flag settings. Any domains you add to the Passed Sites list will be allowed, even if flagged by category or by individual URL - just add the domain and save. Unchecking the pass option will allow the site to be flagged as if the entry was not present. This list uses URL Matcher syntax.

A few sites entered into the Pass Sites list

Pass Clients

If you add an IP address to this list, Web Monitor will not flag any traffic from that IP regardless of the flagged categories or sites. Just add the IP and save. Unchecking the pass option will have the flag/pass lists affect the user as if they were not entered into the Passed Client IPs list. This list uses IP Matcher syntax.

If you have a few users that need to completely bypass Web Monitor controls, consider using pass lists. If you have users that simply need different Web Monitor settings, you should set up a separate rack using Policy Manager. When using this feature, please remember that DHCP IPs can change, so you'll probably want to set up either a Static IP or a Static DHCP Lease for the machine in question.


A few different entries in the Pass Clients list


Rules

The Rules tab allows you to specify rules to Flag traffic that passes through Web Monitor.

The Rules documentation describes how rules work and how they are configured. Web Monitor uses rules to determine when to flag specific session. Flagging a session marks it in the logs for reviewing in the event logs or reports, but has no direct effect on the network traffic.

Rules

Rule Actions

  • Flag: Allows the traffic which matched the rule to flow, and flags the traffic for easier viewing in the event log.

Rule Types

In previous versions of Web Monitor, there were dedicated lists for flagging certain file extensions or MIME types. This capability is still available using the more flexible filter rules. For flagging specific file extensions, you can create a rule with the condition Web Filter: Response File Extension that has a comma separated list of the extensions to flag in the Value field. For flagging MIME types, you would create a rule with the condition Web Filter: Response Content Type that has a comma separated list of the content types to flag in the Value field.

Below are tables that list the default file extensions and MIME types that were available in previous versions. Note that these lists are not exhaustive, but are included here as a reference, and to simplify creation of such rules via copy/paste of the values in the tables.

Extension Category Description
exe executable an executable file format
ocx executable an executable file format
dll executable an executable file format
cab executable an ActiveX executable file format
bin executable an executable file format
com executable an executable file format
jpg image an image file format
png image an image file format
gif image an image file format
jar java a Java file format
class java a Java file format
swf flash the flash file format
mp3 audio an audio file format
wav audio an audio file format
wmf audio an audio file format
mpg video a video file format
mov video a video file format
avi video a video file format
hqx archive an archived file format
cpt compression a compressed file format


Content Category Description
application/octet-stream unspecified data byte stream
application/x-msdownload Microsoft download executable
application/exe executable executable
application/x-exe executable executable
application/dos-exe DOS executable executable
application/x-winexe Windows executable executable
application/msdos-windows MS-DOS executable executable
application/x-msdos-program MS-DOS program executable
application/x-oleobject Microsoft OLE Object executable
application/x-java-applet Java Applet executable
audio/mpegurl MPEG audio URLs audio
audio/x-mpegurl MPEG audio URLs audio
audio/mp3 MP3 audio audio
audio/x-mp3 MP3 audio audio
audio/mpeg MPEG audio audio
audio/mpg MPEG audio audio
audio/x-mpeg MPEG audio audio
audio/x-mpg MPEG audio audio
application/x-ogg Ogg Vorbis audio
audio/m4a MPEG 4 audio audio
audio/mp2 MP2 audio audio
audio/mp1 MP1 audio audio
application/ogg Ogg Vorbis audio
audio/wav Microsoft WAV audio
audio/x-wav Microsoft WAV audio
audio/x-pn-wav Microsoft WAV audio
audio/aac Advanced Audio Coding audio
audio/midi MIDI audio audio
audio/mpeg MPEG audio audio
audio/aiff AIFF audio audio
audio/x-aiff AIFF audio audio
audio/x-pn-aiff AIFF audio audio
audio/x-pn-windows-acm Windows ACM audio
audio/x-pn-windows-pcm Windows PCM audio
audio/basic 8-bit u-law PCM audio
audio/x-pn-au Sun audio audio
audio/3gpp 3GPP audio
audio/3gpp-encrypted encrypted 3GPP audio
audio/scpls streaming mp3 playlists audio
audio/x-scpls streaming mp3 playlists audio
application/smil SMIL audio
application/sdp Streaming Download Project audio
application/x-sdp Streaming Download Project audio
audio/amr AMR codec audio
audio/amr-encrypted AMR encrypted codec audio
audio/amr-wb AMR-WB codec audio
audio/amr-wb-encrypted AMR-WB encrypted codec audio
audio/x-rn-3gpp-amr 3GPP codec audio
audio/x-rn-3gpp-amr-encrypted 3GPP-AMR encrypted codec audio
audio/x-rn-3gpp-amr-wb 3gpp-AMR-WB codec audio
audio/x-rn-3gpp-amr-wb-encrypted 3gpp-AMR_WB encrypted codec audio
application/streamingmedia Streaming Media audio
video/mpeg MPEG video video
audio/x-ms-wma Windows Media video
video/quicktime QuickTime video
video/x-ms-asf Microsoft ASF video
video/x-msvideo Microsoft AVI video
video/x-sgi-mov SGI movie video
video/3gpp 3GPP video video
video/3gpp-encrypted 3GPP encrypted video video
video/3gpp2 3GPP2 video video
audio/x-realaudio RealAudio audio
text/vnd.rn-realtext RealText text
audio/vnd.rn-realaudio RealAudio audio
audio/x-pn-realaudio RealAudio plug-in audio
image/vnd.rn-realpix RealPix image
application/vnd.rn-realmedia RealMedia video
application/vnd.rn-realmedia-vbr RealMedia VBR video
application/vnd.rn-realmedia-secure secure RealMedia video
application/vnd.rn-realaudio-secure secure RealAudio audio
audio/x-realaudio-secure secure RealAudio audio
video/vnd.rn-realvideo-secure secure RealVideo video
video/vnd.rn-realvideo RealVideo video
application/vnd.rn-realsystem-rmj RealSystem media video
application/vnd.rn-realsystem-rmx RealSystem secure media video
audio/rn-mpeg MPEG audio audio
application/x-shockwave-flash Macromedia Shockwave multimedia
application/x-director Macromedia Shockwave multimedia
application/x-authorware-bin Macromedia Authorware binary multimedia
application/x-authorware-map Macromedia Authorware shocked file multimedia
application/x-authorware-seg Macromedia Authorware shocked packet multimedia
application/futuresplash Macromedia FutureSplash multimedia
application/zip ZIP archive
application/x-lzh LZH archive archive
image/gif Graphics Interchange Format image
image/png Portable Network Graphics image
image/jpeg JPEG image
image/bmp Microsoft BMP image
image/tiff Tagged Image File Format image
image/x-freehand Macromedia Freehand image
image/x-cmu-raster CMU Raster image
image/x-rgb RGB image image
text/css cascading style sheet text
text/html HTML text
text/plain plain text text
text/richtext rich text text
text/tab-separated-values tab separated values text
text/xml XML text
text/xsl XSL text
text/x-sgml SGML text
text/x-vcard vCard text
application/mac-binhex40 Macintosh BinHex archive
application/x-stuffit Macintosh Stuffit archive archive
application/macwriteii MacWrite Document document
application/applefile Macintosh File archive
application/mac-compactpro Macintosh Compact Pro archive
application/x-bzip2 block compressed compressed
application/x-shar shell archive archive
application/x-gtar gzipped tar archive archive
application/x-gzip gzip compressed compressed
application/x-tar 4.3BSD tar archive archive
application/x-ustar POSIX tar archive archive
application/x-cpio old cpio archive archive
application/x-bcpio POSIX cpio archive archive
application/x-sv4crc System V cpio with CRC archive
application/x-compress UNIX compressed compressed
application/x-sv4cpio System V cpio archive
application/x-sh UNIX shell script executable
application/x-csh UNIX csh script executable
application/x-tcl Tcl script executable
application/x-javascript JavaScript executable
application/x-excel Microsoft Excel document
application/mspowerpoint Microsoft Powerpoint document
application/msword Microsoft Word document
application/wordperfect5.1 Word Perfect document
application/rtf Rich Text Format document
application/pdf Adobe Acrobat document
application/postscript Postscript document

Advanced

The Advanced section allows you to configure additional Web Monitor options.

  • Process HTTPS traffic by SNI (Server Name Indication) if present: If this option is enabled, HTTPS traffic will be categorized using the "Server Name Indication" in the HTTPS data stream, if present. More details in #HTTPS Options.
  • Process HTTPS traffic by hostname in server certificate when SNI information not present: If this option is enabled and SNI information is not present, the certificate is fetched from the HTTPS server and the server name on the certificate will be used for categorization and filtering purposes.
  • Process HTTPS traffic by server IP if both SNI and certificate hostname information are not available: If this option is enabled and neither of the previous options worked, HTTPS traffic will be categorized using the IP address. More details in #HTTPS Options.
  • Clear Category URL Cache: This option will clear the local cache of categorized sites and URLs. After clearing the cache all new web visits will be looked up fresh using the categorization service. The cache automatically cleans itself as entries become old or stale, so this is mostly for testing.
Advanced options

Reports

The Reports tab provides a view of all reports and events for all traffic handled by Web Monitor.

Reports

This applications reports can be accessed via the Reports tab at the top or the Reports tab within the settings. All pre-defined reports will be listed along with any custom reports that have been created.

Reports can be searched and further defined using the time selectors and the Conditions window at the bottom of the page. The data used in the report can be obtained on the Current Data window on the right.

Pre-defined report queries:

Report Entry Description
Web Monitor Summary A summary of web monitor actions.
Web Usage The amount of total and flagged web requests over time.
Web Usage (scanned) The amount of total web requests over time.
Web Usage (flagged) The amount of flagged web requests over time.
Top Categories (by request) The number of web requests grouped by category.
Top Categories (by size) The sum of the size of requested web content grouped by category.
Top Flagged Categories The number of flagged web requests grouped by category.
Top Sites (by request) The number of web requests grouped by website.
Top Sites (by size) The sum of the size of requested web content grouped by website.
Top Flagged Sites The number of flagged web requests grouped by website.
Top Domains (by request) The number of web requests grouped by domain.
Top Domains (by size) The sum of the size of requested web content grouped by domain.
Top Flagged Domains The number of flagged web requests grouped by domain.
Top Domains Usage The amount of web requests per top domain.
Top Hostnames (by requests) The number of web requests grouped by hostname.
Top Hostnames (by size) The sum of the size of requested web content grouped by hostname.
Top Flagged Hostnames The number of flagged web request grouped by hostname.
Top Clients (by requests) The number of web requests grouped by client.
Top Clients (by size) The sum of the size of requested web content grouped by client.
Top Flagged Clients The number of flagged web request grouped by client.
Top Usernames (by requests) The number of web requests grouped by username.
Top Usernames (by size) The sum of the size of requested web content grouped by username.
Top Flagged Usernames The number of flagged web request grouped by username.
Top Content (by request) The number of web requests grouped by category.
Top Categories (by size) The sum of the size of requested web content grouped by category.
All Web Events Shows all scanned web requests.
Flagged Web Events Shows all flagged web requests.
All HTTP Events Shows all scanned unencrypted HTTP requests.
All HTTPS Events Shows all encrypted HTTPS requests.
All Query Events Shows all search querires processed by Web Monitor.


The tables queried to render these reports:



HTTPS Options

There are many ways to handle HTTPS. An overview of the various techniques is described here.

If SSL Inspector is installed and inspects a session, then it is fully decrypted to HTTP before Web Monitor processes the session. In this case HTTPS is treated identically to HTTP. If SSL Inspector is not installed or the session is not inspected, there are still several techniques to handle encrypted HTTP sessions.

There are three HTTPS options.

  • Process HTTPS traffic by SNI (Server Name Indication) if present.
  • Process HTTPS traffic by hostname in server certificate when SNI information not present
  • Process HTTPS traffic by server IP if both SNI and certificate hostname information are not available.

If Process HTTPS traffic by SNI (Server Name Indication) if present encrypted port-443 traffic will be scanned. Most modern browsers on modern OSs will send the hostname of the server in cleartext - this is called "Server Name Indication" or SNI. SNI is an optional cleartext field in the HTTPS request that shows the hostname of the server. If this option is enabled and the SNI information is present in the HTTPS request, this hostname will be used as the URL for this request and all categorization, flag lists, and pass lists, will be processed as if this were a regular HTTP request to that URL.

If the SNI-based categorization determines the page should be passed (and/or flagged) then the session is allowed and the appropriate event based on the SNI information is logged ("https://example.com/").

For example, if the user visits "https://wellsfargo.com/welcome" in the browser, it will see "wellsfargo.com" as the SNI information. If enabled, the request will be handled exactly like "http://wellsfargo.com" would be. If "Banking" is flagged it will be flagged, unless "wellsfargo.com" is in the pass list or the client IP is in the client IP pass list. If "wellsfargo.com" is flaggeed it will be flagged, unless "wellsfargo.com" is in the pass list or the client IP is in the client IP pass list.

If No SNI information is present and Process HTTPS traffic by hostname in server certificate when SNI information not present is enabled, then the hostname will be pulled from the certificate presented to the client.

For example, if the user visits "https://wellsfargo.com/welcome" in a non-SNI enabled browser, then there is no SNI information. In this case if Process HTTPS traffic by hostname in server certificate when SNI information not present is enabled it will use the certificate information instead to categorize the session. It will download the certificate from the site and see that the certificate is "Issued To" "www.wellsfargo.com." It will use this information to check the category for "https://www.wellsfargo.com" and categorize the session.

If no SNI or certificate information was available and Process HTTPS traffic by server IP if both SNI and certificate hostname information are not available the session will be processed and categorized by IP address. If the IP-based processing and categorization of the web requests determines the session should be flagged, the session is reset and no more processing of this session will be done. If the IP-based processing and categorization determines the page should be passed (and/or flagged) then the session is allowed and the appropriate event based on its IP is logged ("https://1.2.3.4").

For example, if the user visits "https://wellsfargo.com/welcome" in a non-SNI enabled browser, then there is no SNI information. If the the certificate information was missing for some reason then this session can only be identified by IP address. In this case if Process HTTPS traffic by server IP if both SNI and certificate hostname information are not available is enabled it will use the IP address instead. So it will process/categorize this web request as 'http://1.2.3.4' if 1.2.3.4 is the IP of wellsfargo.com. This will still often result in correct categorization for dedicated web servers, but does poorly when using generic cloud computing servers that offer a wide variety of websites.

Note: Neither HTTPS process (SNI, certificate, or IP-based categorization) can read the URI information as it is not sent in cleartext. As such the URI will not be used as part of the categorization and the URI is assumed to be "/" when evaluating pass rules. If scanning the URI is necessary then full SSL Inspection may be required. Read here for more information

To see the HTTPS categorization in action use the "All HTTPS Events" query in the event log.

Web Monitor FAQs

Why is there a pass list if Web Monitor can't block sites?

Web Monitor is useful for monitoring web activity, and as part of that it is often useful to flag certain web activity to make it more visible in reports. Adding a site to the pass list will prevent the site from being flagged even if it otherwise would be because the category is flagged or a rule flags it.


Can I block sites with Web Monitor?

No. Web Monitor is for monitoring web activity only. In order to modify or block web content Web Filter is required.