Recursively Listing Security Group Members with PowerShell, Version 2

In this post, I described the use of PowerShell for the purpose of generating a report of all members of a particular group, including nested groups.  The script utilized ADSI calls to the WinNT:// provider to recursively retrieve both local and domain group members.   However, it was brought to my attention that the WinNT:// provider cannot access group objects located in non-default OU’s, but only the default Users container.   In order to access group objects located in OU’s, the ADSI queries have to be targeted to the LDAP:// provider.   This posed a bit of a challenge in correcting due to the fact that LDAP:// can’t access local group members so both the WinNT:// and LDAP:// providers had to be selectively utilized.

An updated version of this script can be downloaded here.  This version utilizes the same command line syntax:  powershell.exe c:\scripts\listusers.ps1 “Domain_or_Server_Name\Group_Name” 5.   The first parameter can be a domain name or server name followed by a backslash and the group name.  If the group name contains spaces, this parameter must be wrapped in quotes.  The second parameter is the recursion depth, how many levels of nested groups the script will traverse and report on.  The script outputs group membership details to the command window as well as a text file (located in the same directory as the script) named with the group name. 

The inner workings of this script became more complicated in this version, largely because I wanted the script to automatically select which provider to use in the ADSI calls.  The functional overview of the script is as follows:

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Recursively Listing Security Group Members with PowerShell

It seems like a favorite request of auditors is one for lists of all members of a set of local or domain groups that are associated with a resource that is being audited, and these requests typically stipulate that all members of nested groups must be listed as well (i.e. full recursion).  I used to use a VBS script to perform this functionality, but I’ve recently rewritten it in PowerShell.  The script accepts a group name (either local or domain) as well as a recursion depth as command line arguments and outputs a list of all group members to a text file.

The method used to retrieve the group members is:

 $Group= [ADSI]”WinNT://$GroupName,group”
 $Members = @($Group.psbase.Invoke(“Members”))

With that, it’s just a matter of configuring a function that accepts a group name as an input parameter, outputs the members, and loops through the member groups until the defined recursion depth is reached.

The script can be downloaded here.  And the output looks like:

The script could be easily modified to accept a text file with a list of group or server names as in input, or modified to output the results in HTML instead of plain text.