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Event ID 4625 (viewed in Windows Event Viewer) documents every failed attempt at logging on to a local computer. This event is generated on the computer from where the logon attempt was made. A related event, Event ID 4624 documents successful logons.
Event 4625 applies to the following operating systems: Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10. Corresponding events in Windows Server 2003 and earlier included 529, 530, 531, 532, 533, 534, 535, 536, 537, and 539 for failed logons.
Event ID 4625 looks a little different across Windows Server 2008, 2012, and 2016. Highlighted in the screenshots below are the important fields across each of these versions.
The important information that can be derived from Event 4625 includes:
Other information that can be obtained from Event 4625:
To detect brute-force, dictionary, and other password guess attacks, which are characterized by a sudden spike in failed logons.
To detect abnormal and possibly malicious internal activity, like a logon attempt from a disabled account or unauthorized workstation, users logging on outside of normal working hours, etc.
To come up with a benchmark for the Account lockout threshold policy setting, which determines the number of failed sign-in attempts before a user account gets locked.
To comply with regulatory mandates precise information surrounding failed logons is necessary.
In a typical IT environment, the number of events with ID 4625 (failed logon) can run into the thousands each day. Failed logons are useful on their own, but greater insights into network activity can be drawn from clear connections between them and other pertinent events.
For example, while Event 4625 is generated when an account fails to log on and Event 4624 is generated for successful logons, neither of these events reveal if the same account has recently experienced both. You have to correlate Event 4625 with Event 4624 using their respective Logon IDs to figure that out.
Thus, event analysis and correlation needs to be performed. Native tools and PowerShell scripts demand expertise and time when employed to this end, so a third-party tool is truly indispensable.
Applying machine learning, ADAudit Plus creates a baseline of normal activities specific to each user and only notifies security personnel when there is a deviation from this norm.
For example, a user who consistently accesses a critical server outside of business hours wouldn't trigger a false positive alert because that behavior is typical for that user. On the other hand, ADAudit Plus would instantly alert security teams when that same user accesses that server during a time they've never accessed it before, even though the access falls within business hours.
ManageEngine ADAudit Plus employs machine learning to alert you whenever a user with possibly malicious intent logs on.
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Before you leave, check out our guide on the 8 most critical Windows security events you must monitor.