Friday, August 29, 2008

Verify user membership in an AD group

Occasionally, when working on a WinForms application, I need to validate the current user against an Active Directory group before letting the application run. Though not a complex task, it usually takes me a bit of time to research (Translation: I have to copy code from several web sites and modify to suit my needs.) So I figured I'd post my own implementation here for others to use in their research. That, and maybe save myself a bit of time in the future.

The first step is to get the list of AD groups the current user belongs to. The magic necessary to make this happen is contained in the System.DirectoryServices namespace. The code to return the list looks like so:

internal static List<string> GetADGroupsForCurrentUser()
List<string> groups = new List<string>();
string domainName = Environment.UserDomainName;
DirectoryEntry entry = new DirectoryEntry("LDAP://"
+ domainName);
string filter = "(samAccountName="
+ Environment.UserName + ")";

DirectorySearcher search =
new DirectorySearcher(entry, filter);

SearchResult results = search.FindOne();
int groupsCount = results.Properties.Count;
for (int i = 0; i < groupsCount; i++)
string groupString =

return groups;

Once we have the list, we need to loop through it looking for the desired AD group. The strings returned from the above code contain comma-delimited properties (something like "CN=MyDomainGroup,OU=Security Groups,DC=local".) Because of this I'm using the Contains method to search the string for the desired domain name. I'm sure there's another way to do this, but whatever works...

public static bool CurrentUserIsAuthorized(string authorizedGroupName)
List<string> activeDirectoryGroups =
foreach (string group in activeDirectoryGroups)
if (group.Contains(authorizedGroupName))
return true;

return false;

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