Synchronize directory service data

 

Updated: May 8, 2013

Applies To: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

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

This policy setting determines which users and groups have authority to synchronize all directory service data, regardless of the protection for objects and properties. This privilege is required to use LDAP directory synchronization (dirsync) services. Domain controllers have this user right inherently because the synchronization process runs in the context of the System account on domain controllers.

This policy setting is supported on versions of Windows that are designated in the Applies To list at the beginning of this topic.

Constant: SeSyncAgentPrivilege

  • User-defined list of accounts

  • Not defined

  1. Ensure that no accounts are assigned the Synchronize directory service data user right. Only domain controllers need this privilege, which they inherently have.

GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment

By default this setting is not defined on domain controllers and on stand-alone servers.

The following table lists the actual and effective default policy values for the most recent supported versions of Windows. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

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

Enabled

Member Server Effective Default Settings

Disabled

Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Disabled

There are no differences in the way this policy setting works between the supported versions of Windows that are designated in the Applies To list at the beginning of this topic.

This section describes features, tools, and guidance to help you manage this policy.

A restart of the computer is not required for this policy setting to be effective.

Any change to the user rights assignment for an account becomes effective the next time the owner of the account logs on.

Settings are applied in the following order through a Group Policy Object (GPO), which will overwrite settings on the local computer at the next Group Policy update:

  1. Local policy settings

  2. Site policy settings

  3. Domain policy settings

  4. OU policy settings

When a local setting is greyed out, it indicates that a GPO currently controls that setting.

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.

The Synchronize directory service data user right affects domain controllers (only domain controllers should be able to synchronize directory service data). Domain controllers have this user right inherently because the synchronization process runs in the context of the System account on domain controllers. Attackers who have this user right can view all information that is stored within the directory. They could then use some of that information to facilitate additional attacks or expose sensitive data, such as direct telephone numbers or physical addresses.

Ensure that no accounts are assigned the Synchronize directory service data user right.

None. Not defined is the default configuration.

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