How to Detect Who Added a User to Domain Admins Group
Native Auditing vs. Netwrix Auditor for Active Directory
- Configure Audit Policy Settings by running GPMC.msc → Edit "Default Domain Policy" → Computer Configuration → Policies → Windows Settings → Security Settings → Local Policies → Audit Policy → Audit account management → Define → Success.
- Configure object-level Active Directory auditing settings by opening ADSI Edit → Connect to "Default naming context"→ Click "OK" → Right-click DomainDNS object with the name of your domain → Properties → Security (Tab) → Advanced (Button) → Auditing (Tab) → Add Principal "Everyone" → Type "Success" → Applies to "This object and Descendant objects" → Permissions: → Select all check boxes except the following: "Full Control", "List Contents", "Read all properties", "Read permissions" → Click "OK".
- Enlarge security event log capacity by running GPMC.msc → Edit "Default Domain Policy" → Computer Configuration → Policies → Windows Settings → Security Settings → Event Log → Define:
a. Maximum security log size to 1gb
b. Retention method for security log to "Overwrite events as needed"
Run "gpupdate /force" command.
- Run eventvwr.msc and filter security log for event id 4728 to detect when users are added to security-enabled global groups. The group name in our case is "Domain Admins".
- Run Netwrix Auditor Administrative Console. Enable "Changes to Admin Group Membership" alert in Netwrix Auditor → domain.name → Active Directory → Real-Time Alerts folder.
- All changes to Domain Admins Group will be sent to your e-mail automatically right after they happen.
Detect users with excessive permissions in the Domain Admins group to ensure that your data is safe and only eligible users can access it
Adding a user to the Domain Admins group grants that user full access rights to Active Directory and other IT systems that use Windows authentication. If an IT pro adds a user to admins without a valid reason, it may result in deletion of critical organizational units, domain controller shutdown, or a security breach. To promptly determine who added a user to the Domain Admins group and ensure system security, it’s vital to continuously monitor all changes made to this group.
Netwrix Auditor for Active Directory enables you to monitor all changes and access in Active Directory, including when someone adds a user to the Domain Admins group, and provides all the critical who, what, when and where details. Moreover, the appropriate IT staff are automatically notified whenever somebody has added a user to the Domain Admins Group, so they can quickly investigate whether the change was authorized and revert it if necessary. By alerting on changes to the Domain Admins group, including when an IT admin adds a domain user, Netwrix Auditor for Active Directory helps you ensure the integrity of Active Directory and avoid problems such as domain controller shutdowns.