70-742 Additional Notes – Default Windows Server Security Groups

GPOs

It is super important to be familiar with the default security groups of Active Directory and their purpose. Here is a handy review for you! While most I am sure you are familiar with – some might be a surprise a perhaps you have never needed them in your Enterprise. The exam of course does not care! Be sure to locate the READ MORE link as this list DOES NOT end after Domain Users. 🙂

  • Access Control Assistance Operators – Members of this group can remotely query authorization attributes and permissions for resources on the computer.
  • Account Operators – The Account Operators group grants limited account creation privileges to a user. Members of this group can create and modify most types of accounts, including those of users, local groups, and global groups, and members can log in locally to domain controllers.
  • Administrators – Members of the Administrators group have complete and unrestricted access to the computer, or if the computer is promoted to a domain controller, members have unrestricted access to the domain.
  • Allowed RODC Password Replication Group – The purpose of this security group is to manage a RODC password replication policy. This group has no members by default, and it results in the condition that new Read-only domain controllers do not cache user credentials. The Denied RODC Password Replication Group group contains a variety of high-privilege accounts and security groups. The Denied RODC Password Replication group supersedes the Allowed RODC Password Replication group.
  • Backup Operators – Members of the Backup Operators group can back up and restore all files on a computer, regardless of the permissions that protect those files. Backup Operators also can log on to and shut down the computer. This group cannot be renamed, deleted, or moved. By default, this built-in group has no members, and it can perform backup and restore operations on domain controllers. Its membership can be modified by the following groups: default service Administrators, Domain Admins in the domain, or Enterprise Admins. It cannot modify the membership of any administrative groups. While members of this group cannot change server settings or modify the configuration of the directory, they do have the permissions needed to replace files (including operating system files) on domain controllers. Because of this, members of this group are considered service administrators.
  • Certificate Service DCOM Access – Members of this group are allowed to connect to certification authorities in the enterprise.
  • Cert Publishers – Members of the Cert Publishers group are authorized to publish certificates for User objects in Active Directory.
  • Cloneable Domain Controllers – Members of the Cloneable Domain Controllers group that are domain controllers may be cloned. In Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012, you can deploy domain controllers by copying an existing virtual domain controller. In a virtual environment, you no longer have to repeatedly deploy a server image that is prepared by using sysprep.exe, promote the server to a domain controller, and then complete additional configuration requirements for deploying each domain controller (including adding the virtual domain controller to this security group).
  • Cryptographic Operators – Members of this group are authorized to perform cryptographic operations. This security group was added in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) to configure Windows Firewall for IPsec in Common Criteria mode.
  • Denied RODC Password Replication Group – Members of the Denied RODC Password Replication group cannot have their passwords replicated to any Read-only domain controller.
  • Distributed COM Users – Members of the Distributed COM Users group are allowed to launch, activate, and use Distributed COM objects on the computer. Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) is a platform-independent, distributed, object-oriented system for creating binary software components that can interact. Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) allows applications to be distributed across locations that make the most sense to you and to the application. This group appears as a SID until the domain controller is made the primary domain controller and it holds the operations master role (also known as flexible single master operations or FSMO).
  • DnsUpdateProxy – Members of the DnsUpdateProxy group are DNS clients. They are permitted to perform dynamic updates on behalf of other clients (such as DHCP servers). A DNS server can develop stale resource records when a DHCP server is configured to dynamically register host (A) and pointer (PTR) resource records on behalf of DHCP clients by using dynamic update. Adding clients to this security group mitigates this scenario.However, to protect against unsecured records or to permit members of the DnsUpdateProxy group to register records in zones that allow only secured dynamic updates, you must create a dedicated user account and configure DHCP servers to perform DNS dynamic updates by using the credentials of this account (user name, password, and domain). Multiple DHCP servers can use the credentials of one dedicated user account.
  • DnsAdmins – Members of DNSAdmins group have access to network DNS information. The default permissions are as follows: Allow: Read, Write, Create All Child objects, Delete Child objects, Special Permissions.
  • Domain Admins – Members of the Domain Admins security group are authorized to administer the domain. By default, the Domain Admins group is a member of the Administrators group on all computers that have joined a domain, including the domain controllers. The Domain Admins group is the default owner of any object that is created in Active Directory for the domain by any member of the group. If members of the group create other objects, such as files, the default owner is the Administrators group. The Domain Admins group controls access to all domain controllers in a domain, and it can modify the membership of all administrative accounts in the domain. Membership can be modified by members of the service administrator groups in its domain (Administrators and Domain Admins), and by members of the Enterprise Admins group. This is considered a service administrator account because its members have full access to the domain controllers in a domain.
  • Domain Computers – This group can include all computers and servers that have joined the domain, excluding domain controllers. By default, any computer account that is created automatically becomes a member of this group.
  • Domain Controllers – The Domain Controllers group can include all domain controllers in the domain. New domain controllers are automatically added to this group.
  • Domain Guests – The Domain Guests group includes the domain’s built-in Guest account. When members of this group sign in as local guests on a domain-joined computer, a domain profile is created on the local computer.
  • Domain Users – The Domain Users group includes all user accounts in a domain. When you create a user account in a domain, it is automatically added to this group. By default, any user account that is created in the domain automatically becomes a member of this group. This group can be used to represent all users in the domain. For example, if you want all domain users to have access to a printer, you can assign permissions for the printer to this group (or add the Domain Users group to a local group on the print server that has permissions for the printer).

  • Enterprise Admins – The Enterprise Admins group exists only in the root domain of an Active Directory forest of domains. It is a Universal group if the domain is in native mode; it is a Global group if the domain is in mixed mode. Members of this group are authorized to make forest-wide changes in Active Directory, such as adding child domains. By default, the only member of the group is the Administrator account for the forest root domain. This group is automatically added to the Administrators group in every domain in the forest, and it provides complete access for configuring all domain controllers. Members in this group can modify the membership of all administrative groups. Membership can be modified only by the default service administrator groups in the root domain. This is considered a service administrator account.
  • Enterprise Read-Only Domain Controllers – Members of this group are Read-Only Domain Controllers in the enterprise. Except for account passwords, a Read-only domain controller holds all the Active Directory objects and attributes that a writable domain controller holds. However, changes cannot be made to the database that is stored on the Read-only domain controller. Changes must be made on a writable domain controller and then replicated to the Read-only domain controller. Read-only domain controllers address some of the issues that are commonly found in branch offices. These locations might not have a domain controller. Or, they might have a writable domain controller, but not the physical security, network bandwidth, or local expertise to support it.
  • Event Log Readers – Members of this group can read event logs from local computers. The group is created when the server is promoted to a domain controller.
  • Group Policy Creators Owners – This group is authorized to create, edit, or delete Group Policy Objects in the domain. By default, the only member of the group is Administrator.
  • Guests – Members of the Guests group have the same access as members of the Users group by default, except that the Guest account has further restrictions. By default, the only member is the Guest account. The Guests group allows occasional or one-time users to sign in with limited privileges to a computer’s built-in Guest account. When a member of the Guests group signs out, the entire profile is deleted. This includes everything that is stored in the %userprofile% directory, including the user’s registry hive information, custom desktop icons, and other user-specific settings. This implies that a guest must use a temporary profile to sign in to the system. This security group interacts with the Group Policy setting Do not logon users with temporary profiles when it is enabled. This setting is located under the following path: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\User Profiles
  • Hyper-V Administrators – Members of the Hyper-V Administrators group have complete and unrestricted access to all the features in Hyper-V. Adding members to this group helps reduce the number of members required in the Administrators group, and further separates access.
  • IIS_IUSRS – IIS_IUSRS is a built-in group that is used by Internet Information Services beginning with IIS 7.0. A built-in account and group are guaranteed by the operating system to always have a unique SID. IIS 7.0 replaces the IUSR_MachineName account and the IIS_WPG group with the IIS_IUSRS group to ensure that the actual names that are used by the new account and group will never be localized. For example, regardless of the language of the Windows operating system that you install, the IIS account name will always be IUSR, and the group name will be IIS_IUSRS.
  • Incoming Forest Trust Builders – Members of the Incoming Forest Trust Builders group can create incoming, one-way trusts to this forest. Active Directory provides security across multiple domains or forests through domain and forest trust relationships. Before authentication can occur across trusts, Windows must determine whether the domain being requested by a user, computer, or service has a trust relationship with the logon domain of the requesting account. To make this determination, the Windows security system computes a trust path between the domain controller for the server that receives the request and a domain controller in the domain of the requesting account. A secured channel extends to other Active Directory domains through interdomain trust relationships. This secured channel is used to obtain and verify security information, including security identifiers (SIDs) for users and groups.
  • Network Configuration Operators – Members of the Network Configuration Operators group  have misc administrative privileges to manage configuration of networking features.
  • Performance Log Users – Members of the Performance Log Users group can manage performance counters, logs, and alerts locally on the server and from remote clients without being a member of the Administrators group.
  • Performance Monitor Users – Members of this group can monitor performance counters on domain controllers in the domain, locally and from remote clients, without being a member of the Administrators or Performance Log Users groups. The Windows Performance Monitor is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that provides tools for analyzing system performance. From a single console, you can monitor application and hardware performance, customize what data you want to collect in logs, define thresholds for alerts and automatic actions, generate reports, and view past performance data in a variety of ways.
  • Pre–Windows 2000 Compatible Access – Members of the Pre–Windows 2000 Compatible Access group have Read access for all users and groups in the domain. This group is provided for backward compatibility for computers running Windows NT 4.0 and earlier. By default, the special identity group, Everyone, is a member of this group. Add users to this group only if they are running Windows NT 4.0 or earlier.
  • Print Operators – Members of this group can manage, create, share, and delete printers that are connected to domain controllers in the domain. They can also manage Active Directory printer objects in the domain. Members of this group can locally sign in to and shut down domain controllers in the domain.
  • Protected Users – Members of the Protected Users group are afforded additional protection against the compromise of credentials during authentication processes. This security group is designed as part of a strategy to effectively protect and manage credentials within the enterprise. Members of this group automatically have non-configurable protection applied to their accounts. Membership in the Protected Users group is meant to be restrictive and proactively secure by default. The only method to modify the protection for an account is to remove the account from the security group. This domain-related, global group triggers non-configurable protection on devices and host computers running Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, and on domain controllers in domains with a primary domain controller running Windows Server 2012 R2. This greatly reduces the memory footprint of credentials when users sign in to computers on the network from a non-compromised computer. Depending on the account’s domain functional level, members of the Protected Users group are further protected due to behavior changes in the authentication methods that are supported in Windows.
  • RAS and IAS Servers – Computers that are members of the RAS and IAS Servers group, when properly configured, are allowed to use remote access services. By default, this group has no members. Computers that are running the Routing and Remote Access service are added to the group automatically, such as IAS servers and Network Policy Servers. Members of this group have access to certain properties of User objects, such as Read Account Restrictions, Read Logon Information, and Read Remote Access Information.
  • RDS Endpoint Servers – Servers that are members in the RDS Endpoint Servers group can run virtual machines and host sessions where user RemoteApp programs and personal virtual desktops run. This group needs to be populated on servers running RD Connection Broker. Session Host servers and RD Virtualization Host servers used in the deployment need to be in this group.
  • RDS Management Servers – Servers that are members in the RDS Management Servers group can be used to perform routine administrative actions on servers running Remote Desktop Services. This group needs to be populated on all servers in a Remote Desktop Services deployment. The servers running the RDS Central Management service must be included in this group.
  • RDS Remote Access Servers – Servers in the RDS Remote Access Servers group provide users with access to RemoteApp programs and personal virtual desktops. In Internet facing deployments, these servers are typically deployed in an edge network. This group needs to be populated on servers running RD Connection Broker. RD Gateway servers and RD Web Access servers that are used in the deployment need to be in this group.
  • Read-Only Domain Controllers – This group is comprised of the Read-only domain controllers in the domain. A Read-only domain controller makes it possible for organizations to easily deploy a domain controller in scenarios where physical security cannot be guaranteed, such as branch office locations, or in scenarios where local storage of all domain passwords is considered a primary threat, such as in an extranet or in an application-facing role.
  • Remote Desktop Users -The Remote Desktop Users group on an RD Session Host server is used to grant users and groups permissions to remotely connect to an RD Session Host server. This group cannot be renamed, deleted, or moved. It appears as a SID until the domain controller is made the primary domain controller and it holds the operations master role (also known as flexible single master operations or FSMO).
  • Remote Management Users – Members of the Remote Management Users group can access WMI resources over management protocols (such as WS-Management via the Windows Remote Management service). This applies only to WMI namespaces that grant access to the user.
  • Replicator – Computers that are members of the Replicator group support file replication in a domain. Windows Server operating systems use the File Replication service (FRS) to replicate system policies and logon scripts stored in the System Volume (SYSVOL). Each domain controller keeps a copy of SYSVOL for network clients to access. FRS can also replicate data for the Distributed File System (DFS), synchronizing the content of each member in a replica set as defined by DFS. FRS can copy and maintain shared files and folders on multiple servers simultaneously. When changes occur, content is synchronized immediately within sites and by a schedule between sites.
  • Schema Admins – Members of the Schema Admins group can modify the Active Directory schema. This group exists only in the root domain of an Active Directory forest of domains. It is a Universal group if the domain is in native mode; it is a Global group if the domain is in mixed mode. The group is authorized to make schema changes in Active Directory. By default, the only member of the group is the Administrator account for the forest root domain. This group has full administrative access to the schema. The membership of this group can be modified by any of the service administrator groups in the root domain. This is considered a service administrator account because its members can modify the schema, which governs the structure and content of the entire directory.
  • Server Operators – Members in the Server Operators group can administer domain servers. This group exists only on domain controllers. By default, the group has no members. Memebers of the Server Operators group can sign in to a server interactively, create and delete network shared resources, start and stop services, back up and restore files, format the hard disk drive of the computer, and shut down the computer. This group cannot be renamed, deleted, or moved. By default, this built-in group has no members, and it has access to server configuration options on domain controllers. Its membership is controlled by the service administrator groups, Administrators and Domain Admins, in the domain, and the Enterprise Admins group. Members in this group cannot change any administrative group memberships. This is considered a service administrator account because its members have physical access to domain controllers, they can perform maintenance tasks (such as backup and restore), and they have the ability to change binaries that are installed on the domain controllers. Note the default user rights in the following table.
  • Terminal Server License Servers – Members of the Terminal Server License Servers group can update user accounts in Active Directory with information about license issuance. This is used to track and report TS Per User CAL usage. A TS Per User CAL gives one user the right to access a Terminal Server from an unlimited number of client computers or devices. This group appears as a SID until the domain controller is made the primary domain controller and it holds the operations master role (also known as flexible single master operations or FSMO).
  • Users – Members of the Users group are prevented from making accidental or intentional system-wide changes, and they can run most applications. After the initial installation of the operating system, the only member is the Authenticated Users group. When a computer joins a domain, the Domain Users group is added to the Users group on the computer. Users can perform tasks such as running applications, using local and network printers, shutting down the computer, and locking the computer. Users can install applications that only they are allowed to use if the installation program of the application supports per-user installation. This group cannot be renamed, deleted, or moved.
  • Windows Authorization Access Group – Members of this group have access to the computed token GroupsGlobalAndUniversal attribute on User objects. Some applications have features that read the token-groups-global-and-universal (TGGAU) attribute on user account objects or on computer account objects in Active Directory Domain Services. Some Win32 functions make it easier to read the TGGAU attribute. Applications that read this attribute or that call an API (referred to as a function) that reads this attribute do not succeed if the calling security context does not have access to the attribute. This group appears as a SID until the domain controller is made the primary domain controller and it holds the operations master role (also known as flexible single master operations or FSMO).
  • WinRMRemoteWMIUsers_ – In Windows 8 and in Windows Server 2012, a Share tab was added to the Advanced Security Settings user interface. This tab displays the security properties of a remote file share. To view this information, you must have the following permissions and memberships, as appropriate for the version of Windows Server that the file server is running.

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