Export (0) Print
Expand All
Expand Minimize

Network security: Restrict NTLM: Add server exceptions in this domain

Published: November 15, 2012

Updated: November 15, 2012

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, management aspects, and security considerations for this policy setting.

The Network security: Restrict NTLM: Add server exceptions in this domain policy setting allows you to create an exception list of servers in this domain to which client computers are allowed to use NTLM pass-through authentication if any of the deny options are set in the Network Security: Restrict NTLM: NTLM authentication in this domain policy setting.

If you configure this policy setting, you can define a list of servers in this domain to which client computers are allowed to use NTLM authentication.

If you do not configure this policy setting, no exceptions will be applied, and if Network Security: Restrict NTLM: NTLM authentication in this domain is enabled, all NTLM authentication attempts in the domain will fail.

List the NetBIOS server names as the naming format, one per line. A single asterisk (*) can be used anywhere in the string as a wildcard character.

  • User-defined list of servers

    When you enter a list of servers in this domain to which clients are allowed to use NTLM authentication, the policy is defined and enabled.

  • Not defined

    If you do not configure this policy setting by defining a list of servers, the policy is undefined and no exceptions will be applied.

  1. First enforce the Network Security: Restrict NTLM: Audit NTLM authentication in this domain policy setting, and then review the Operational log to understand what domain controllers are involved in these authentication attempts so you can decide which servers to exempt.

  2. After you have set the server exception list, enforce the Network Security: Restrict NTLM: Audit NTLM authentication in this domain policy setting, and then review the Operational log again before setting the policies to block NTLM traffic.

GPO_name \Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

 

Server type or GPO Default value

Default domain policy

Not defined

Default domain controller policy

Not defined

Stand-alone server default settings

Not defined

Domain controller effective default settings

Not defined

Member server effective default settings

Not defined

Client computer effective default settings

Not defined

This policy setting was introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

This section describes different features and tools available to help you manage this policy.

None. Changes to this policy become effective without a restart when saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.

Setting and deploying this policy via Group Policy takes precedence over the setting on the local computer. If the Group Policy is set to Not Configured, local settings will apply.

View the Operational log to see if your server exception list is functioning as intended. Audit and block events are recorded on this computer in the Operational log located in Applications and Services Log\Microsoft\Windows\NTLM.

There are no Security Audit policies that can be configured to view output from this policy.

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

When it has been determined that the NTLM authentication protocol should not be used within a domain because you are required to use a more secure protocol such as Kerberos, there might be some NTLM authentication traffic that is still present in the domain. If so, and you set Network Security: Restrict NTLM: NTLM authentication in this domain to any of the deny options, any NTLM authentication request will fail because the pass-through member server will block the NTLM request.

If you define an exception list of servers in this domain to which client computers are allowed to use NTLM pass-through authentication, then NTLM authentication traffic will continue to flow between those servers, which make them vulnerable to any malicious attack that takes advantage of security weaknesses in NTLM.

When you use Network Security: Restrict NTLM: NTLM authentication in this domain in audit-only mode, you can determine by reviewing which client applications are making NTLM authentication requests to the pass-through authentication servers. When assessed, you will have to determine on a case-by-case basis if NTLM authentication still minimally meets your security requirements.

Defining a list of servers for this policy setting will enable NTLM authentication traffic between those servers might result in a security vulnerability.

If this list is not defined and Network Security: Restrict NTLM: NTLM authentication in this domain is enabled, then NTLM authentication will fail on those pass-through servers in the domain that they have previously used

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

ADD
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft