Configuration Manager Current Branch Antivirus Exclusions

Hey everybody!  My name is Brandon McMillan and I am a Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) CE at Microsoft. ConfigMgr Current Branch has been the standard service-based model since December 2015 with the release of version 1511.  You may have noticed that with the continuous improvements, your antivirus exclusions also need to be kept up to date.  I hope this will provide you with important antivirus exclusions you could consider implementing within a Current Branch environment.

This blog will provide a comprehensive list of the following referenced Microsoft Support and Microsoft Docs articles we have released along with other recommendations you could consider for your environment.  Please reference the following articles for further guidance.

  • 822158: Virus scanning recommendations for Enterprise computers that are running currently supported versions of Windows – Last Review: Jan 12, 2021
  • Docs Article: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager Site Servers, Site Systems, and Clients – Last Review: Jan 12, 2021
  • 309422: choose antivirus software to run on computers that are running – Last Review: Jan 25, 2021
  • Docs Article: Antivirus software that is not cluster-aware may cause problems with Cluster Services – Last Review: Oct 24, 2020
  • Docs Article: A 0-byte file may be returned when compression is enabled on a server that is running IIS – Last Review: Mar 30, 2020
  • 900638: Multiple symptoms occur if an antivirus scan occurs while the Wsusscan.cab file or the Wsusscn2.cab file is copied – Last Review: Jan 25, 2021

Update: Feb 2, 2021

  • Added PowerBI Report Server paths and recommendations under SQL Reporting Services Exclusions.
  • Correction on UpdateServicesDBFiles path under WSUS Exclusions.  Many thanks to  for the feedback.
  • Review/updated antivirus references and links.

IMPORTANT: Antivirus real-time protection can cause many problems on Configuration Manager site servers, site systems, and clients.  We recommend to always test before implementing any of these changes in a production environment. We strongly encourage you to evaluate the risks that are associated with implementing these changes. We recommend that you temporarily apply these procedures to evaluate a system. If you choose to implement these changes in your environment, ensure you take any additional precautions necessary. Please refer to your antivirus vendor's documentation for further guidance and recommendations.

The recommendations for each section are separated between “Operational” and “Performance” levels.  Operational recommendations are highly encouraged to be added to your exclusions list.  Performance recommendations should only be considered if you are experiencing such issues that may be a result of your antivirus product.

The following information will cover what could be recommended for your environment.

Details on the variables referenced:

  • can be multiple drives in some environments, so it is best to use a wildcard if possible for the antivirus solution you have deployed throughout your environment.  Please refer to your vendor's documentation for further instructions.
  •   is the name of the SQL instance you are using in your environment.  Please be aware if you use any named SQL instances or the default, “MSSQLServer”.
  •   is the version of SQL you are using in your environment.  This may also differ between each SQL service referenced between versions 2005-2008 R2 and 2012 or higher.  Please be aware of what version you have installed.  KB309422 and the article below can provide you with more details.

How to determine the version, edition and update level of SQL Server and its components

Core Exclusions for Supported Versions of Windows

Operational

  • %allusersprofile%NTUser.pol
  • %userprofile%NTUser.dat
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.chk
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.cmtx
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.csv
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.edb
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.jrs
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.log
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.sdb
  • %windir%SecurityDatabase*.xml
  • %windir%SoftwareDistributionDatastoreDatastore.edb
  • %windir%SoftwareDistributionDatastoreLogsedb.chk
  • %windir%SoftwareDistributionDatastoreLogsedb*.jrs
  • %windir%SoftwareDistributionDatastoreLogsedb*.log
  • %windir%SoftwareDistributionDatastoreLogstmp.edb
  • %SystemRoot%System32GroupPolicyMachineRegistry.pol
  • %SystemRoot%System32GroupPolicyMachineRegistry.tmp
  • %SystemRoot%System32GroupPolicyUserRegistry.pol
  • %SystemRoot%System32GroupPolicyUserRegistry.tmp

For further information regarding recommended exclusions for server roles such as a , DFS, DHCP, or DNS, please refer to the article below.

Reference: 822158

ConfigMgr Core Installation Exclusions (All Versions)

Operational

  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerInboxes
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerInstall.map
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerLogs

Reference: Docs Article: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager Site Servers, Site Systems, and ClientsConfiguration Manager 2012 Antivirus Exclusions

ConfigMgr Core Installation Exclusions (Current Branch Versions)

Operational

  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration Managercd.latest
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerEasySetupPayload

Performance

  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerAdminUIContentPayload
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerAdminUIContentStaging
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerCMUClient
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerCMUStaging
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerISVTemp
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerPilotingUpgrade
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerRLAStaging

Reference: Docs Article: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager Site Servers, Site Systems, and Clients

ConfigMgr Management Point Exclusions

The following recommendations are dependent on the state of the system when the Management Point role is assigned.  Please review the current state of your environment to determine which of the following paths should be excluded.

Operational

  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration ManagerMPOUTBOXES
  • Program FilesSMS_CCMLogs
  • Program FilesSMS_CCMPolReqStagingPOL00000.pol
  • Program FilesSMS_CCMServiceData
  • Program FilesSMSLogs
  • Program FilesSMSMPOUTBOXES
  • SMS_CCMLogs
  • SMS_CCMPolReqStagingPOL00000.pol
  • SMS_CCMServiceData
  • SMSLogs
  • SMSMPOUTBOXES
  • %windir%CCMLogs

Reference: Docs Article: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager Site Servers, Site Systems, and Clients

ConfigMgr Content Library Exclusions

Operational

  • SMS_DP$
  • SMSPKG<DriveLetter>$
  • SMSPKG
  • SMSPKGSIG
  • SMSSIG$
  • %windir%CCMServiceData

Performance

  • SCCMContentLib
    • Ex. D:SCCMBackup
    • Ex. D:SCCMSource

Reference: Docs Article: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager Site Servers, Site Systems, and Clients

ConfigMgr Imaging Exclusions

Operational

  • ConfigMgr_OfflineImageServicing
  • %windir%TEMPBootImages

Performance

  • %SystemDrive%_SMSTaskSequence

Reference: Configuration Manager 2012 Antivirus Exclusions

ConfigMgr Process Exclusions

Operational

Client Side

  • %windir%CCMCcmexec.exe
  • %windir%CCMCmRcService.exe
  • %windir%CCMCcmrepair.exe
  • %windir%CCMSetupCcmsetup.exe

Server Side

  • %windir%CCMCcmexec.exe
  • %windir%SMS_CCMCcmexec.exe
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration Managerbinx64Cmupdate.exe
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration Managerbinx64Sitecomp.exe
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration Managerbinx64Smsexec.exe
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration Managerbinx64Smssqlbkup.exe
  • Program FilesMicrosoft Configuration Managerbinx64Smswriter.exe
  • SMS_binx64Smssqlbkup.exe

Reference: Docs Article: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager Site Servers, Site Systems, and Clients

ConfigMgr Client Exclusions

Operational

  • %windir%CCM*.sdf
  • %windir%CCMLogs
  • %windir%CCMServiceData
  • %windir%CCMCache
  • %windir%CCMSetup

Performance

  • %windir%CCMSystemTemp

Reference: Docs Article: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager Site Servers, Site Systems, and Clients

SQL Server Exclusions

Operational

  • SQL Server Process Exclusions
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.MSSQLBinnSQLServr.exe
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.OLAPBinMSMDSrv.exe
  • SQL Server data files
    • *.ldf
    • *.mdf
    • *.ndf
  • SQL Server backup files
    • *.bak
    • *.trn
  • SQL Audit files
    • *.sqlaudit
  • SQL Query files
    • *.sql
  • SQL Trace files
    • *.trc
  • Analysis Services data files
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.OLAPBackup
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.OLAPData
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.OLAPLog
  • Full-Text catalog files
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.MSSQLFTData
  • Files
    • Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL ServerCOM
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL ServerCOM
  • Snapshot Files
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.MSSQLReplData
    • These files typically have file name extensions of the following:
      • *.bcp
      • *.cft
      • *.dri
      • *.idx
      • *.prc
      • *.pre
      • *.sch
      • *.trg
  • Checkpoint and delta files
    • No specific file extension for the files
    • Files are present under the folder structure identified by the container of type FILE_STREAM from sys.database_files
  • DBCC CHECKDB Files
    • Files will be of the format _MSSQL_DBCC< database_id_of_snapshot>
    • These are temporary files
    • For more information, see the following article:
      • 2974455 DBCC CHECKDB behavior when the SQL Server database is located on a ReFS volume
  • Exception Dump Files
    • *.mdmp
  • Extended Event Files
    • *.xel
    • *.xem
    • System generated files are saved in the LOG folder for that instance.
  • Filestream data files
    • SQL 2008 and later versions
    • Files are present under the folder structure identified by the container of type FILE_STREAM from sys.database_files.
  • In-memory OLTP Files
    • Present in a xtp sub-folder under the DATA directory for the instance
    • File formats include the following:
      • xtp___.c
      • xtp___.dll
      • xtp___.obj
      • xtp___.out
      • xtp___.pdb
      • xtp___.xml
  • Remote Blob Storage files
    • SQL 2008 and later versions
  • Windows Clustering (If applicable)
    • < Drive> (Ex. Q:)
    • %windir%Cluster
    • MSDTC directory in the MSDTC drive

References: 309422250355

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Exclusions

Operational

SSRS for SQL 2016 and below

  • Process Exclusions
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.Reporting ServicesReportServerBinReportingServicesService.exe
  • Reporting Services Files
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.>Reporting ServicesLogFiles
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server.Reporting ServicesRSTempFiles

SSRS for SQL 2017+

  • Process Exclusions
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server Reporting ServicesSSRS ReportServerBinReportingServicesService.exe
  • Reporting Services Files
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server Reporting ServicesSSRSLogFiles
    • Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server Reporting ServicesSSRSReportServerRSTempFiles

PowerBI Report Server

  • Process Exclusions
    • Program FilesMicrosoft PowerBI Report ServerPBIRSReportServerBinReportingServicesService.exe
  • Reporting Services Files
    • Program FilesMicrosoft PowerBI Report ServerPBIRSLogFiles
    • Program FilesMicrosoft PowerBI Report ServerPBIRSReportServerRSTempFiles

Reference: 309422

IIS Exclusions

Operational

IIS Compressed Files

  • IIS 6.0:
    • %SystemRoot%IIS Temporary Compressed Files
  • IIS 7.0+:
    • %SystemDrive%inetpubtempIIS Temporary Compressed Files

IIS Worker Process

  • %windir%System32inetsrvw3wp.exe
  • %windir%SysWOW64inetsrvw3wp.exe

Reference: Docs Article: A 0-byte file may be returned when compression is enabled on a server that is running IIS

WSUS Exclusions

Operational

  • %ProgramFiles%Update ServicesLogFilesWSUSTemp
  • %SystemRoot%SoftwareDistributionDatastore
  • %SystemRoot%SoftwareDistributionDownload
  • WSUSUpdateServicesDBFiles
  • WSUSWSUSContent

Reference: 822158, Windows Exclusions for Windows Defender

WSUS Offline Scanning Exclusions – Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)

There are four distinctive methods to choose when using MBSA and WSUS offline scanning.  Method 1 has the least amount of risk. If this method does not work for you, we recommend you use Method 2.  Methods 3 and 4 may increase your security risk.  We recommend that you use Methods 3 or only if required and ensure you please take necessary precautions.

Method 1:

  • Exclude the following files from scanning:
    • Wsusscan.cab
    • Wsusscn2.cab

Method 2:

  • Exclude all *.cab files from scanning

Method 3:

  • Exclude all archived files from antivirus scanning
    • %windir%SoftwareDistributionScanFile

Method 4:

  • Exclude the folder where the Wsusscan.cab file or the Wsusscn2.cab file is located
  • Exclude the path of the Wsusscan.cab file or the Wsusscn2.cab file on the local computer

MBSA was largely used in situations where neither Microsoft Update nor a local WSUS/ConfigMgr server was available, or as a compliance tool to ensure that all security updates were deployed to a managed environment. While MBSA version 2.3 introduced support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, it has since been deprecated and no longer developed. MBSA 2.3 is not updated to fully support Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

The following script may help you as an alternative to MBSA's patch-compliance checking with later versions of Windows:

References: 900638MBSAWsusscn2.cab

I received numerous feedback on this post and I wanted to highlight the contributions from the following individuals: Max Baldt, David Coulter, Aaron Ellison, Julie Andreacola, and Klaus Kreyenberg.

Special thanks to Kevin Kasalonis, Cameron CoxClifton HughesRushi Faldu, and Santos Martinez.

Thank you!

Brandon McMillan, Customer Engineer

Additional References:

Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, confers no rights, and is not supported by the authors or Microsoft Corporation. Use of any included script samples are subject to the terms specified in the Terms of Use.

 

This article was originally published by Microsoft's Core Infrastructure and Security Blog. You can find the original article here.