Last Updated on March 17, 2023 by Dishan M. Francis

This is the Part 03 of the Microsoft Defender for Identity blog series and so far in this series, we learned about,

Part 01 – MDI Overview
Part 02 – Create Directory Service Account

Similar to Part 02, in this blog post also I am going to talk about another MDI prerequisite. MDI collects information from Windows Event logs to enrich the content of findings. Domain controllers do not collect these specific events by default and we need to enable Advanced Audit Policy settings using a group policy to enable the relevant event collection.

MDI is interested in following windows events,

• 1644 – LDAP search
• 4662 – An operation was performed on an object
• 4726 – User Account Deleted
• 4728 – Member Added to Global Security Group
• 4729 – Member Removed from Global Security Group
• 4730 – Global Security Group Deleted
• 4732 – Member Added to Local Security Group
• 4733 – Member Removed from Local Security Group
• 4741 – Computer Account Added
• 4743 – Computer Account Deleted
• 4753 – Global Distribution Group Deleted
• 4756 – Member Added to Universal Security Group
• 4757 – Member Removed from Universal Security Group
• 4758 – Universal Security Group Deleted
• 4763 – Universal Distribution Group Deleted
• 4776 – Domain Controller Attempted to Validate Credentials for an Account (NTLM)
• 7045 – New Service Installed
• 8004 – NTLM Authentication

Source :

Let’s go ahead and see how we can enable these event collections. To do that,

1. Log in to one of the Domain Controllers or to a server with GPMC access as a Domain Administrator
2. Then go to Server Manager | Tools | Group Policy Management
3. Right-click on Domain Controllers Organizational Units and select Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here …

create new GPO

4. Provide a name for the new policy and click on OK.

Type name for the new GPO

5. Then right-click on the new policy and click on Edit.
6. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Advanced Audit Policy Configuration | Audit Policies. In there you can see a number of different policy settings.

Advanced audit policy settings

From the list, enable the following policy settings for both Success and Failure events.

Policy Policy Setting Events Audit Events
Account Logon Audit Credential Validation 4776 Success and Failure
Account Management Audit Computer Account Management 4741, 4743 Success and Failure
Account Management Audit Distribution Group Management 4753, 4763 Success and Failure
Account Management Audit Security Group Management 4728, 4729, 4730, 4732, 4733, 4756, 4757, 4758 Success and Failure
Account Management Audit User Account Management 4726 Success and Failure
DS Access Audit Directory Service Access 4662 Success and Failure
System Audit Security System Extension 7045 Success and Failure

Configure the policy events settings

This completes the initial configuration of the policy but we need to do some further policy changes to enable additional event collections.

Additional Configuration for NTLM Authentication events (8004)

Windows Event 8004 captures NTLM authentication data and we need to do some additional policy configuration to enable it. These additional policy settings are only applying to Domain controllers. To enable the policy settings we can use the same group policy we created in the previous step.

1. Right-click on the new policy we created in the previous step and click on Edit.
2. Go to Computer Configuration | Policies | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | Security Options.

Security Options Settings of the group policy

3. From the list of policies, configure the following with given values.

Policy Policy Setting
Network security: Restrict NTLM: Outgoing NTLM traffic to remote servers Audit All
Network security: Restrict NTLM: Audit NTLM authentication in this domain Enable All
Network security: Restrict NTLM: Audit Incoming NTLM Traffic Enable auditing for all accounts

NTLM policy settings

The above configuration will enable the event 8004 collections.

Additional Configuration for LDAP search events (1644)

Windows Event ID 1644 records information such as User, Client, Filter, and Visited entries related to LDAP queries. In a compromised environment, attackers may use LDAP searches to identify Accounts and Resources. This event collection is not enabled in Domain controllers by default and we have to use registry entries to enable it. To do that, open a notepad and paste the following values.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
“15 Field Engineering”=dword:00000005
“Expensive Search Results Threshold”=dword:00000001
“Inefficient Search Results Threshold”=dword:00000001
“Search Time Threshold (msecs)”=dword:00000001

After that, save the file as .reg file. Then double click on the file to create the relevant registry keys.

Additional Configuration for AD object audit events (4662)

Windows Event ID 4662 records information about AD object access such as SID, Account name, Account Domain, Object Type, Object Name, and Operation Type. Let’s see how we can enable this for all objects in the domain.

1. Go to Server Manager | Tools | Active Directory Users and Computers
2. Then go to View and enable Advanced Features
3. Right-click on the Domain name and click on Properties.

Domain properties

4. Go to Security tab and click on Advanced

Advanced security settings

5. In Advanced security setting window, click on Auditing tab and then click on Add

Add audit entity

6. From the list, search for Everyone and then click on OK.

New audit entity

7. Then in the selection window use the following settings,

Type – Success
Applies to – Descendant User objects
Permissions – First clear all selections and then select Full Control. After that uncheck Full Control, List contents, Read all properties, Read Permissions and click OK.

Apply relevant permissions

8. Repeat the same settings for Descendant Group Objects and Descendant Computer Objects.

Descendant Group Objects permissions

Descendant Computer Objects permissions

9. Then click OK to apply changes.

This completes the configuration for Windows event collection. If you are using ADFS in your environment, you need to do some additional configuration. More information about that available at . Also if you have further questions, feel free to contact me at