how do you track privilege escalation on your domain

what is the best way to track when a user's privileges in an Active Directory Domain change?  And on the same note, is there a way to centrally track when a user gets added to the local administrators group on a computer in your domain assuming all computers are xp or vista.  

DOIMMAAsked:
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
there is no software to my knowledge that would track this...certainly not natively.  making a user a "local" admin on their computer isnt a a part of AD.   how many network admins in your company
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DOIMMAAuthor Commented:
We have 7, but in varying levels of rights.  sometimes i will find that a user is added to the local admin group for some troubleshooting by the help desk and then found to still be there weeks later.  

let me take the question another direction.   so its like a 2 parter.  

1)  When a user is added to the local admin group on the computer, is it logged?  if ihave a log agregator, i should be able to track that change at least.  

2)  In AD, can i track when a user is added to a certain group, say one with elevated privileges?  Whats the best way?
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

1. Not unless auditing is enabled on the workstation, and then it would only log to the local workstation's security log. You'd have to capture logs from all your workstations.

2. The account is flagged if it becomes part of a protected group (Domain Admins, Administrators, etc, etc). The adminCount attribute is incremented and the account starts to have different rights assigned (they are no longer inherited and are assigned from AdminSDHolder object).

However: This process only applies for protected groups based in AD. There's no way for AD to see local group usage as CrisHanna_MVP has pointed out.


You could, of course, simply apply a group policy that defines the group membership for Administrators, it would break the troubleshooting your helpdesk might want to do in future but I feel it should be mentioned.

You almost need to have monitoring of local groups via an inventory process (or sorts). If you're talking a couple of hundred workstations that's barely any effort, if you're talking a couple of thousand it's still possible even if the implications are a little more serious.

I'll happily give you an example of something to scan computers for this kind of report if you wish? I'll make you install PowerShell though :)

Chris
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
I've never checked but I doubt that either is logged
I don't know how many employee/users this company has, but sounds like there are too many "cooks in the pot".
You could setup auditing in AD to track assignment to group memberships.  http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Auditing-Users-Groups-Windows-Security-Log.html
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