Event Log Managment

Logs .. Logs and More Logs

Directory Services Auditing

I’ve been asked by a customer to take a look at their level of Directory Services Auditing.  I’m not able to share their screen shots but can scrub an email that I sent to them and post it here.

When it comes to Directory Services Auditing I always tell people less is more, if you already understand what the other audit policies give you then you can get 85% to 90% of what you need from those.  There are somethings that you will have to get via Directory Services Auditing there’s just no getting around it.  But just as with the case of Object Access be very carefull what you turn on or you will flood yourself with junk noise events.  The major pain is that all events generated by Directory Services use the same event id no matter what action you are doing and are very cryptic.

Here is the email:

” As we talked about on the phone today there is a lot of auditing turned on where Microsoft hasn’t given very much information about what it generates and even some that are currently not used.  Example: Intellimirror-Group is used by remote boot legacy for managing groups of server machines and is currently not used.   Based on the screen shot you sent me I can see that the objects are currently being monitored which are generating a lot of noise events for you.  You might be better suited to audit the properties instead of the objects.  Example, if you want to know when a user has been given access to someone else’s inbox you need to monitor for changes to the property: msExchMailboxSecurityDescriptor; or if you want to know who made a GPO change then you need to monitor for changes to the properties: gpLink and gPOptions.  Most of the information that you can find via MSDN in regards to these audit objects is related to developers and not what the audit trail will give you.  Keep in mind that Microsoft considers the Directory Services auditing a low level audit, so the events that are generated are pretty cryptic in nature and all use the same event id. 

 There are a few of the objects that you would want to monitor to help get a more full picture of what is happening such as: Computer, User, OU, Shares, Group objects.  Monitoring these will give you things such as what OU a user was created in, where the Account Mgmt auditing does not give you this.  Also Account Mgmt auditing does not give you OU auditing (as again Microsoft considers this to be a low level object).

 In most companies it’s easy to turn on Auditing but very difficult to get it turned off and this is where Admins get themselves and others into a painful spot.  How to prove what is not needed when Microsoft doesn’t document what the auditing does or doesn’t do.

 Other examples:

msSFU30MailAliases – represents UNIX mail file data

nisMap – contains the generic abstraction of an NIS map

oncRpc – represents an abstraction of the Open Network Computing (ONC) Remote Procedure Call (RPC) binding

msRTCSIP-EdgeProxy – this attribute is reserved for future use

msRTCSIP-TrustedWebComponentsServerData – this attribute is reserved for future use”

Here are a few of the links where I pulled this data from:




November 23, 2009 Posted by | Directory Services, Log Management | , | Leave a comment