WMI – Security Event Log – Check Administrator Logons

Introduction to Checking Administrator Logons with WMI

This purpose of this script is to check the Security Log for instances where someone has tried to guess the administrator’s password.  The WMI / VBScript searches for Event ID 675 messages and writes them to a text file.  Whilst I love to give my scripts a clear goal, I also encourage you to amend the examples for your own needs.  In this instance, you could amend my variables to check other accounts, or even other Event IDs.

If you have not read my: Interrogate Event Log page, I suggest you start there, else read on!

Topics for Checking Administrator Logon


Scenario for Checking Administrator Logons

WMI VBScript Event ID 675 Security LogThe Microsoft Windows account called Administrator is a magnet for hackers.  Indeed many professionals rename this builtin account to blend in with the other user names.  If you wish to check a username other than administrator, then just search and replace references to Administrator. 

Whenever you plan a script it is always worth walking through the manual steps before you create the VBScript code.  Not only does this walk-through help discover the precise names and Event ID numbers, but it also gives you ideas for additional properties to include in your VBScript. 

To research my WMI / VBScript, what I did was to masquerade as a hacker and typed ‘Administrator’ in the logon box but then deliberately entered the wrong password.  Here is the crucial information that I uncovered in the Security Log, Event ID 675.  Incidentally, if you look in the message Description, Failure Code 0x18 means the account exists, but the password is incorrect.

WMI Script to Check Administrator Logons

This script interrogates the event logs and outputs the results to a text file.  For instance, we may want to discover how many illegal attempts have been made to logon as administrator.  Our mission emphasises the ability of scripts to automate boring and time-consuming tasks, such as scouring the logs for one particular Event ID.  This script also illustrates my mantra of how a manual walk through of the task, helps us understand the commands and thus build a better script.

Real work v Getting started

In the real world, we would concentrate on detecting illegal attempts to logon as administrator.  As this is unlikely to have happened on your test system, therefore, purely to get some action in the output file, I substituted Event ID 680 success for 675 failure.


A walk through is important not only for understanding my script, but also to amend the Event IDs for your scenario.  Frankly, if you take my advice then you will gain control of this script; whereas if you don’t have a walk through of the Event Viewer, I fear that all which follows, will seem as clear as mud.

  1. Open Event Viewer
  2. Match what you see in the security log with variables, strLogType, intNumberID and intEventType in my script.
  3. Select Security Log (Not System)  WMI variable strLogType = "’Security’" Note one set of single quotes, inside one set of double quotes, no spaces.
  4. Event ID number intNumberID value = 680.  Feel free to research our own numbers
  5. Filter for Event 680  (Substitute 675 for illegal logon)
  6. Filter for Success intEventType = 4 (Substitute intEventType = 5 for failures)

Guy Recommends:  SolarWinds’ Log & Event Management ToolSolarwinds Log and Event Management Tool

LEM will alert you to problems such as when a key application on a particular server is unavailable.  It can also detect when services have stopped, or if there is a network latency problem.  Perhaps this log and event management tool’s most interesting ability is to take corrective action, for example by restarting services, or isolating the source of a maleware attack.

Yet perhaps the killer reason why people use LEM is for its compliance capability, with a little help from you, it will ensure that your organization complies with industry standards such as CISP or FERPA.  LEM is a really smart application that can make correlations between data in different logs, then use its built-in logic to take corrective action, to restart services, or thwart potential security breaches – give LEM a whirl.

Download your FREE trial of SolarWinds Log & Event Management tool.

WMI Script to Check the Event Log

Normally I prefer to build WMI scripts in stages but on this occasion, I created only the final script.  I am assuming that you have a grounding in VBScript in general and FSO in particular.

When we ask WMI to interrogate the Event Logs, the key Win32 object is called, Win32_NTLogEvent.  Take care with the spelling as there other objects beginning with Win32_NTLog….

As ever, my script will get you started, but it is worth understanding where you could change the values to suit your Windows network.

Instructions for Creating your VBScript to Check Administrator Logons

  1. Pre-requisites.  For this script to work, you need access to a Windows computer with a Security Log.
  2. To reduce the chance of an authentication problem, I would first run this script at a Domain Controller.  If that is not possible, run the script from a member server on an XP machine and edit strComputer on line 15.
  3. Check the strFolder and strFile values.  Where do you wish the script to appear?
  4. Copy and paste into notepad, or a good script editor. 
  5. Press OK when confronted by a message box, which says "Press OK and Wait 30 seconds (ish)"
  6. Just open your text file from the folder displayed by Explorer!

‘ EventLogFSO.vbs
‘ Sample VBScript to write event log data to text file
‘ Author Guy Thomas https://computerperformance.co.uk/
‘ Version 1.7 – May 2006
‘ ———————————————————–‘
Option Explicit

Dim objFSO, objFolder, objFile, objWMI, objItem, objShell
Dim strComputer, strFileName, strFileOpen, strFolder, strPath
Dim intEvent, intNumberID, intRecordNum, colLoggedEvents
Dim intEventType, strLogType

‘ ——————————————————–
‘ Set the folder and file name
strComputer = "."
strFileName = "\Event680.txt"
strFolder = "e:\logs"
strPath = strFolder & strFileName

‘ Set numbers
intNumberID = 680 ‘ Event ID Number
intEventType = 4
strLogType = "’Security’"
intRecordNum = 0

‘ —————————————————–
‘ Section to create folder and hold file.
‘ Create the File System Object
Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

‘ Check that the strFolder folder exists
If objFSO.FolderExists(strFolder) Then
Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(strFolder)
Set objFolder = objFSO.CreateFolder(strFolder)
WScript.Echo "Just created " & strFolder
End If

If objFSO.FileExists(strFolder & strFileName) Then
Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(strFolder)
Set objFile = objFSO.CreateTextFile(strFolder & strFileName)
Wscript.Echo "Just created " & strFolder & strFileName
End If
‘ ————————————————–
‘ Two tiny but vital commands (Try script without)
set objFile = nothing
set objFolder = nothing

‘ —————————————————-
‘ Write the information to the file
Wscript.Echo " Press OK and Wait 30 seconds (ish)"
Set strFileOpen = objFso.CreateTextFile(strPath, True)

‘ ———————————————————-
‘ WMI Core Section
Set objWMI = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate,(Security)}!\\" _
& strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colLoggedEvents = objWMI.ExecQuery _
("Select * from Win32_NTLogEvent Where Logfile =" & strLogType)

‘ ———————————————————-
‘ Next section loops through ID properties

For Each objItem in colLoggedEvents
If objItem.EventCode = intNumberID Then
If objItem.EventType = intEventType Then
strFileOpen.WriteLine("Category: " & objItem.Category _
& " string " & objItem.CategoryString)
strFileOpen.WriteLine("ComputerName: " & objItem.ComputerName)
strFileOpen.WriteLine("Logfile: " & objItem.Logfile _
& " source " & objItem.SourceName)
strFileOpen.WriteLine("EventCode: " & objItem.EventCode)
strFileOpen.WriteLine("EventType: " & objItem.EventType)
strFileOpen.WriteLine("Type: " & objItem.Type)
strFileOpen.WriteLine("User: " & objItem.User)
strFileOpen.WriteLine("Message: " & objItem.Message)
strFileOpen.WriteLine (" ")
intRecordNum = intRecordNum +1
End If
End If

‘ Confirms the script has completed and opens the file
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.run ("Explorer" &" " & strPath & "\" )


‘ End of Guy’s FSO sample VBScript

Guy Recommends: WMI Monitor and It’s Free!Solarwinds Free WMI Monitor

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is one of the hidden treasures of Microsoft’s operating systems.  Fortunately, SolarWinds have created a Free WMI Monitor so that you can discover these gems of performance information, and thus improve your scripts.

Take the guess work out of which WMI counters to use when scripting the operating system, Active Directory or Exchange Server. Give this WMI monitor a try – it’s free.

Download your free copy of WMI Monitor

VBScript Tutorial – Learning Points

1) Begin by checking the variables.  Experiment not only with strComputer, but also with intNumberID.  Double check Win32_ object name.

2) Here is a tiny addition to join two output properties and then write them on the same line.   strFile.WriteLine("Category: " & objItem.Category _
& " string " & objItem.CategoryString) A tiny improvement to save space in the output file.

3) Another cosmetic VBScript effect is to name the file after the Event Log ID,
strFileName = "\Event" & intNumberID & ".txt".  Although such improvements are minor, each contributes to a more professional script.

4) Although the VBScript example was getting rather long, I still could not resist adding a command to open the folder when the script creates the output file.
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.run ("Explorer" &" " & strPath & "\" ).

5) I admit that I have ignored the FSO (File System Object) section, which writes the information to the file.  However, I do cover this important feature of VBScript in other ezines and pages on my website.

6) Note (Security)  I thank Yitzchok Lavi for adding (Security). 

The first task for WMI is to connect to the CIM namespace with:
GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate,(Security)}!\\" _
& strComputer & "\root\cimv2")

Research indicates that you should always (Security) here in impersonationLevel=impersonate,(Security), even if you change the log to ‘Application’.

See also Solarwinds Log and Event Manager »

Summary – WMI Script to Check for Administrator Logons

Remember that the operating system knows everything.  Thank Microsoft for providing a library of WMI commands with which to interrogate systems like the Event Logs.  WMI scripting is tricky because there are so many elements.  Take the time to have a walk through of how you examine an Event Log property sheet.  In particular, match the Event ID, Success or Failure and type of Log with variables in my script.


If you like this page then please share it with your friends


See more VBScript file examples:

VBScript to create folders   • VBScript to create files    • VBScript write file    • VBScript file copy

PowerShell OutFile   • PowerShell Get-ChildItem   • PowerShell create folder • Event Log Administrator

VBScript Event Log   • WMI Event Log • Event Log Example   • SolarWinds Log Event Manager