Groups log events

Security investigation tool
Supported editions for the Groups log events data source in the investigation tool:
Enterprise Plus, Education Plus

As your organization's administrator, you can use the security investigation tool to run searches related to Groups log events, and to take action based on search results. From the investigation tool, you can track changes to groups, group memberships, and group messages for users in your organization. You can also troubleshoot when users in your domain notice discrepancies and unexpected changes to their group activities. Entries usually appear within half an hour of the user action.

Note: To view Admin console actions on groups and group memberships, go to Groups Enterprise log events.

Your access to the security investigation tool

  • Supported editions for the security investigation tool include Enterprise Plus and Education Plus.
  • Admins with Cloud Identity Premium, Enterprise Standard, and Education Standard can also use the investigation tool for a subset of data sources.
  • Your ability to run a search in the investigation tool depends on your Google edition, your administrative privileges, and the data source. If you're unable to run a search in the investigation tool for a specific data source, you can generally use the audit and investigation page instead.

Types of changes you can track

  • Group creation and deletion—You can verify that a group exists and was not recently deleted.
  • Member addition, removal, and banning—If a user didn't receive a group message, you can check the log event data to see if the user is a group member. If the user was removed or banned, the data also shows who removed or banned them and when. 
  • User invitations and join request approvals—You can verify whether a user received an invitation to join a group and whether the invitation was accepted or denied. You can also track whether a user’s request to join a group was approved or denied.
  • Group posting permission changes—Users may unexpectedly receive a bounce message saying that they're not permitted to post. Log event data shows any changes to the posting permissions that would prevent the user to post.
  • Spam moderation settings—If messages are sent to the moderation queue instead of being posted, log event data will show if message moderation was a recent settings change.
  • Other settings—When other settings are changed, log event data provides details about the changes.

Groups log events are only for the Google Groups interface. Event data tracks both user and admin actions executed using the Google Groups interface. Google Groups actions performed by administrators using the Admin console or the Admin SDK directory API are logged only in Admin log events.

Run a search for Groups log events

To run a search in the investigation tool, first choose a data source. You then need to choose one or more conditions for your search. For each condition, choose an attribute, an operator, and a value

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. On the left of the Admin console Home page, click Securityand thenSecurity centerand thenInvestigation tool.
  3. Click Data source and select Groups log events.
  4. Click Add Condition.
    Tip: You can include one or more conditions in your search or customize your search with nested queries. For details, go to Customize your search with nested queries.
  5. Click Attributeand thenselect an option.
    For a complete list of attributes, go to the Attribute descriptions section below.
  6. Click Containsand thenselect an operator.
  7. Enter a value, or select a value from the drop-down list.
  8. (Optional) To add more search conditions, repeat steps 4–7.
  9. Click Search.
    Search results in the investigation tool are displayed in a table at the bottom of the page.
  10. (Optional) To save your investigation, click Save""and thenenter a title and descriptionand thenclick Save.

Note:

  • In the Condition builder tab, filters are represented as conditions with AND/OR operators. You can also use the Filter tab to include simple parameter and value pairs to filter the search results.
  • If you gave a user a new name, you will not see query results with the user's old name. For example, if you rename OldName@example.com to NewName@example.com, you will not see results for events related to OldName@example.com.

Attribute descriptions

For this data source, you can use the following attributes when searching log event data:

Attribute Description
Actor Email address of the user who performed the action
Actor group name Group name of the actor
Actor organizational unit Organizational unit of the actor
Date Date and time the event occurred (displayed in your browser's default time zone)
Event The logged event action, such as Create group, Invite user, or Reject join request.
Group email Email address of the group
Group permission setting Group permission setting for the actor—for example, Can add members, Can post, Can invite members, or Can delete topics
Info setting value Value of an update to the Group info setting
Message ID For messages sent by the actor, the unique message ID located in the message header
Message moderation Action taken by the actor to approve or reject a post/message
New value New setting value after an action is taken by the actor
Old value Old setting value after an action is taken by the actor
Role Actor's role in the group—for example, Manager, Member, or Owner
Setting Action taken by the actor. For example, to allow external members, allow web posting, set the maximum message size, or specify the Group name.
Status Status of the action taken by the author—Succeeded or Failed
Target Email address of the target user

Take action based on search results

After you run a search in the investigation tool, you can act on your search results. For example, you can run a search based on Gmail log events, and then use the investigation tool to delete specific messages, send messages to quarantine, or send messages to users' inboxes. For more details about actions in the investigation tool, go to Take action based on search results.

Create activity rules & set up alerts

To help prevent, detect, and remediate security issues efficiently, you can automate actions in the investigation tool and set up alerts by creating activity rules. To set up a rule, set up conditions for the rule, and then specify what actions to perform when the conditions are met. For details and instructions, go to Create and manage activity rules.

Manage your investigations

View your list of investigations

To view a list of the investigations that you own and that were shared with you, click View investigations"". The investigation list includes the names, descriptions, and owners of the investigations, and the date last modified. 

From this list, you can take action on any investigations that you own—for example, to delete an investigation. Check the box for an investigation, and then click Actions.

Note: Directly above your list of investigations, under Quick access, you can view recently saved investigations.

Configure settings for your investigations

As a super administrator, click Settings"" to :

  • Change the time zone for your investigations. The time zone applies to search conditions and results.
  • Turn on or off Require reviewer. For more details, go to Require reviewers for bulk actions.
  • Turn on or off View content. This setting allows admins with the appropriate privileges to view content.
  • Turn on or off Enable action justification.

For instructions and details, go to Configure settings for your investigations.

Manage columns in your search results

You can control which data columns appear in your search results. 

  1. At the top-right of the search results table, click Manage columns"".
  2. (Optional) To remove current columns, click Remove item"".
  3. (Optional) To add columns, next to Add new column, click the Down arrow""and select the data column.
    Repeat as needed.
  4. (Optional) To change the order of the columns, drag the column name.
  5. Click Save.
Export data from search results

You can export search results in the investigation tool to Google Sheets or to a CSV file. For instructions, see Export search results.

Share, delete, and duplicate investigations

To save your search criteria or share it with others, you can create and save an investigation, and then share, duplicate, or delete it.

For details, go to Save, share, delete, and duplicate investigations.

When and how long is data available?

For more information about data sources, go to Data retention and lag times.

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