Auditing Windows Permissions with Get-ACL

James TaralaBaselining, Uncategorized, Windows Auditing

One of the new Microsoft PowerShell cmdlets that auditors should appreciate is the GET-ACL cmdlet. Now, through native PowerShell commands, an auditor can retrieve a list of all the permissions associated with a given Windows object. The output from this command can be used to create a permissions baseline if someone is trying to alert on permissions changes. Or this command could be used to generate a list of all the permissions associated with a given objects. Through a simple syntax, an auditor can dump a list of all the permissions associated with a given Microsoft Windows object.

The simple syntax to run the command against a file system object would be the following:

Get-Acl c:tools | Format-List

However you can also run this command against a number of different Microsoft Windows objects, including registry keys, Active Directory objects, printers, or anything else with an access control list associated with it. For example, to perform a similar command against a registry hive, the following command would work:

Get-Acl HKCU:SoftwareMicrosoftWindows | Format-list

In addition, when using the –AUDIT parameter, an auditor can dump a list of the System Access Control Lists (SACLs) that are associated with an object in order to determine the logging settings configured on an object. The following shows an example of how to perform the command:

get-Acl -audit c:tools | Format-list

Finally Daniel Carrarini has posted an interesting script for dumping access that shows some of the full features of the command. Here is a link to his blog post as well:

http://carrarini.blogspot.com/2011/08/powershell-script-for-dumping-access.html