Exchange 2003 - "Master" Account Unknown

Posted on 2008-10-23
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
We have been getting this error message for some time now on our Windows 2003 domain controllers:

Oct 23 12:10:29 nneml001
Security: 529: NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM: Logon Failure: Reason: Unknown user name or bad password
User Name: master
Logon Type: 3
Logon Process: Advapi
Workstation Name: NNEML001
Caller User Name: NNEML001$
Caller Domain: NNHCORP
Caller Logon ID: (0x0,0x3E7)
Caller Process ID: 1332
Transited Services: -
Source Network Address: -
Source Port: -

It references a user account called "master" on our Exchange 2003 server, but this account does not now and has never existed either locally or in Active Directory.  I've checked all the services on the server and poked all through Exchange System Manager.  I can find no reference to an account called "master".

I have also searched through the registry on the Exchange server, and can find no reference to the username "master".

There are no other symptoms that I can find that seem to be related to this message, either.

I'm completely stumped.  Any help is appreciated.
Question by:m_mccabe
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 22790665
On which ever box this issue is occuring run the following command from Start-Run

control keymgr.dll

and removed saved user and password - check if this helps


Author Comment

ID: 22790728
Thanks for the speedy reply!  

I ran the suggested "control keymgr.dll" command, but the window that appeared had no stored usernames or passwords to delete.  It was completely empty.

LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Andres Perales
ID: 22791320
You have to run that command on the workstation listed
Workstation Name: NNEML001
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Author Comment

ID: 22791760
That's where I ran it from.  I wasn't really expecting anything to be there though, as NNEML001 is an Exchange server.

Author Comment

ID: 22850273
Any other ideas?  I'm totally stumped at this point.  
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 22850936
Looks like workstation or server named NNEML001 has a virus.
Check this process info. 

Author Comment

ID: 22867782
Thanks mcrossland, but what you found is referring to "advapi.exe".  ADVAPI.DLL and ADVAPI32.DLL are standard windows drivers and are part of the system responsible for handling logons.

I certainly hope people aren't trying to delete either of these DLLs from their production Windows servers.

Author Comment

ID: 22970747
Update -

I went ahead and loaded Symantec 10.1 on the server and it found nothing out of the ordinary.  I also scrutinized the traffic coming from the server using our IPS/IDS, and still no unusual signatures.

We will be replacing this server soon, as we will be moving to Exchange 2007.  I imagine this issue will clear up at that time.  

Accepted Solution

m_mccabe earned 0 total points
ID: 23106685
After running a network audit, it appears that a remote machine was infected with a virus that kept trying to logon to the email server with the local account "master".

Removing the workstation form the network has resolved the issue.

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