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Export Mailbox Audit Logs

Exchange 2013
 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Online

Topic Last Modified: 2013-11-13

When mailbox auditing is enabled for a mailbox, Microsoft Exchange logs information in the mailbox audit log whenever a user other than the owner accesses the mailbox. Each log entry includes information about who accessed the mailbox and when, the actions performed by the non-owner, and whether the action was successful. Entries in the mailbox audit log are retained for 90 days by default. You can use the mailbox audit log to determine if a user other than the owner has accessed a mailbox.

When you export entries from mailbox audit logs, Microsoft Exchange saves the entries in an XML file and attaches it to an email message sent to the specified recipients.

  • Estimated time to complete each procedure: Times are variable. In Exchange Online, the mailbox audit log is sent within a few days after you export it.
  • Procedures in this topic require specific permissions. See each procedure for its permissions information.
  • For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the procedures in this topic, see Keyboard Shortcuts in the Exchange Admin Center.
tipTip:
Having problems? Ask for help in the Exchange forums. Visit the forums at: Exchange Server, Exchange Online, or Exchange Online Protection.

You have to enable mailbox audit logging on each mailbox that you want to audit before you can export and view mailbox audit logs. You also have to configure Microsoft Outlook Web App to allow XML attachments to use Outlook Web App to access the audit log.

You have to enable mailbox audit logging for each mailbox that you want to run a non-owner mailbox access report for. If mailbox audit logging isn't enabled for a mailbox, you won't get any results for that mailbox when you export the mailbox audit log.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Mailbox audit logging" entry in the Messaging Policy and Compliance Permissions topic.

To enable mailbox audit logging for a single mailbox, run the command in the Shell.

Set-Mailbox <Identity> -AuditEnabled $true

To enable mailbox audit logging for all user mailboxes in your organization, run the following commands.

$UserMailboxes = Get-mailbox -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'UserMailbox')}
$UserMailboxes | ForEach {Set-Mailbox $_.Identity -AuditEnabled $true}

When you export the mailbox audit log, Microsoft Exchange attaches the audit log, which is an XML file, to an email message. However, Outlook Web App blocks XML attachments by default. To access the exported audit log, you have to use Microsoft Outlook or configure Outlook Web App to allow XML attachments.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Outlook Web App mailbox policies" entry in the Clients and Mobile Devices Permissions topic.

Run the following command to allow XML attachments in Outlook Web App.

Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -Identity Default -AllowedFileTypes '.rpmsg','.xlsx','.xlsm','.xlsb','.tiff','.pptx','.pptm','.ppsx','.ppsm','.docx','.docm','.zip','.xls','.wmv','.wma','.wav','.vsd','.txt','.tif','.rtf','.pub','.ppt','.png','.pdf','.one','.mp3','.jpg','.gif','.doc','.bmp','.avi','.xml'
noteNote:
In Exchange Online, use the value OwaMailboxPolicy-Default for the Identity parameter.

To verify that you’ve successfully configured mailbox audit logging, do the following:

  1. Run the following command to verify that audit logging is configured for mailboxes.
    Get-Mailbox | FL Name,AuditEnabled
    
    A value of True for the AuditEnabled property verifies that audit logging is enabled.
  2. Run the following command to verify that XML attachments are allowed in Outlook Web App for your organization.
    Get-OwaMailboxPolicy | Select-Object -ExpandProperty AllowedFileTypes
    
    Verify that .xml is included in the list of allowed file types.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "View-only administrator audit logging" entry in the Exchange and Shell Infrastructure Permissions topic.

  1. In the Exchange Administration Center (EAC), navigate to Compliance Management > Auditing.
  2. Click Export mailbox audit logs.
  3. Configure the following search criteria for exporting the entries from the mailbox audit log:
    • Start and end dates   Select the date range for the entries to include in the exported file.
    • Mailboxes to search audit log for   Select the mailboxes to retrieve audit log entries for.
    • Type of non-owner access   Select one of the following options to define the type of non-owner access to retrieve entries for:
      • All non-owners   Search for access by administrators and delegated users inside your organization, and by Microsoft datacenter administrators in Exchange Online.
      • External users   Search for access by Microsoft datacenter administrators.
      • Administrators and delegated users   Search for access by administrators and delegated users inside your organization.
      • Administrators   Search for access by administrators in your organization.
    • Recipients   Select the users to send the mailbox audit log to.
  4. Click Export.
    Microsoft Exchange retrieves entries in the mailbox audit log that meet your search criteria, saves them to a file named SearchResult.xml, and then attaches the XML file to an email message sent to the recipients that you specified.

Sign in to the mailbox where the mailbox audit log was sent. If you’ve successfully exported the audit log, you’ll receive a message sent from Exchange. The audit log will be attached to this message. As previously stated, in Exchange Online, it may take a few days to receive this message.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "View-only administrator audit logging" entry in the Exchange and Shell Infrastructure Permissions topic.

To open or save the SearchResult.xml file:

  1. Sign in to the mailbox where the mailbox audit log was sent.
  2. In the Inbox, open the message with the XML file attachment sent by Microsoft Exchange. Notice that the body of the email message contains the search criteria.
  3. Click the attachment and select to open or save the XML file.

The following example shows an entry from the mailbox audit log contained in the SearchResult.xml file. Each entry is preceded by the <Event> XML tag and ends with the </Event> XML tag. This entry shows that the administrator purged the message with the subject, "Notification of litigation hold" from the Recoverable Items folder in David's mailbox on April 30, 2010.

<Event MailboxGuid="6d4fbdae-e3ae-4530-8d0b-f62a14687939" 
  Owner="PPLNSL-dom\david50001-1363917750" 
  LastAccessed="2010-04-30T11:01:55.140625-07:00" 
  Operation="HardDelete" 
  OperationResult="Succeeded" 
  LogonType="Admin"
 FolderId="0000000073098C3277988F4CB882F5B82EBF64610100A7C317F68C24304BBD18ABE1F185E79B00000026BD4F0000"
  FolderPathName="\Recoverable Items\Deletions"
  ClientInfoString="Client=OWA;Action=ViaProxy" 
  ClientIPAddress="10.196.241.168" 
  InternalLogonType="Owner"
  MailboxOwnerUPN=david@contoso.com
  MailboxOwnerSid="S-1-5-21-290112810-296651436-1966561949-1151" 
  CrossMailboxOperation="false" 
  LogonUserDN="Administrator"
  LogonUserSid="S-1-5-21-290112810-296651436-1966561949-1149">
  <SourceItems>
   <ItemId="0000000073098C3277988F4CB882F5B82EBF64610700A7C317F68C24304BBD18ABE1F185E79B00000026BD4F0000A7C317F68C24304BBD18ABE1F185E79B00000026BD540"
    Subject="Notification of litigation hold"
    FolderPathName="\Recoverable Items\Deletions" /> 
  </SourceItems>
</Event>

Watch for these fields. They can help you identify specific information about each instance of non-owner access of a mailbox.

 

Field Description

Owner

The owner of the mailbox that was accessed by a non-owner.

LastAccessed

The date and time when the mailbox was accessed.

Operation

The action that was performed by the non-owner. For more information, see the "What gets logged in the mailbox audit log?" section in Learn more about running a non-owner mailbox access report.

OperationResult

Whether the action performed by the non-owner succeeded or failed.

LogonType

The type of non-owner access. These include administrator, delegate, and external.

FolderPathName

The name of the folder that contained the message that was affected by the non-owner.

ClientInfoString

Information about the mail client used by the non-owner to access the mailbox.

ClientIPAddress

The IP address of the computer used by the non-owner to access the mailbox.

InternalLogonType

The logon type of the account used by the non-owner to access this mailbox.

MailboxOwnerUPN

The email address of the mailbox owner.

LogonUserDN

The display name of the non-owner.

Subject

The subject line of the email message that was affected by the non-owner.

If you can view the XML file that’s attached to the message sent by Exchange and the file contains audit log entries, then you’ve successfully configured, exported, and viewed a mailbox audit log.

 
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