Lateral Movement: Pass the Ticket Attack

After working on Pass the Hash attack and Over the pass attack, it’s time to focus on a similar kind of attack called Pass the Ticket attack. It is very effective and it punishes too if ignored. Let’s look into it.

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Configurations used in Practical
  • Working
  • Pass-the- Hash v/s Pass-the-Ticket
  • Pass-the-Ticket Attacks
    • Extracting Tickets: Mimikatz
    • Passing the Ticket: Mimikatz
    • Extracting Tickets: Rubeus
    • Passing the Ticket: Rubeus
  • Practical Approach: Golden Ticket Attack
  • Detection
  • Mitigation


In the series articles for Lateral Movement which include techniques below are not the only way to further compromise the target Windows Server. There are other methods as well.

One such way was discovered while I was trying to perform the Lateral Movement on the Windows Server from Kali Linux. The surprise was that I didn’t hear about this attack and even the Mimikatz supports it. So, I looked around to find that there is not much written about it. This attack is called Pass the Ticket attack and it can help the attacker to steal the Kerberos Credentials from the Linux system such as Kali Linux and then pass them on Windows Machine while authentication.

Configurations used in Practical

Attacker Machine

  • OS: Kali Linux 2020.2
  • IP Address:168.1.112

Target Machine

  • Server
    • OS: Windows Server 2016
    • IP Address:168.1.105
    • Domain:local
    • User: Administrator
  • Client
    • OS: Windows 10
    • IP Address:168.1.106
    • User: Yashika


In this attack, the attacker extracts the Kerberos Ticket Granting Ticket which is also known as TGT. It is located inside the LSASS process in the memory of the system. After extracting the ticket the attacker uses the ticket on another system to gain the access.

Pass-the-Hash v/s Pass-the-Ticket

The major difference between the Pass-the-Ticket and Pass-the-Hash attack is that the time for which the access can be acquired. In simple words, the Kerberos TGT tickets issues have an expiration time of 10 hours (This can be changed). In the case of the Pass-The-Hash, there is no expiration. The attack will work until the user doesn’t change their password.  

Extracting Tickets: Mimikatz

As discussed before the tickets are loaded inside the memory and to extract them we will be using the mimikatz. We run the keberos::list command in mimikatz to read the tickets that are located in the LSASS. To save them on the machine we will use the /export parameter.

As we can see that we have the tickets that were saved inside the directory where we had the mimikatz executable. In the previous image, we can see that we have 2 tickets and the names of those tickets can be confirmed. For a sense of simplicity, we renamed one of the tickets as ticket.kirbi.


Passing the Ticket: Mimikatz

Now Mimikatz doesn’t just give up after extracting the tickets. It can pass the tickets as well. This is the reason I prefer mimikatz. We go back to the mimikatz terminal. Here, we pass the ticket with the help of ptt module inside the Kerberos module followed by the name of the ticket that we want to pass. This is the reason we renamed the ticket. Now that we have successfully passed the ticket. Now to perform the actions as the user that we passed the ticket for we decided to get a cmd as that user. This can be accomplished using the misc::cmd command as shown in the image given below.

Extracting Tickets: Rubeus

First, we will use extract the tickets using Rubeus. This can be done with the help of the asktgt module. Although it is not so sneaky method it gets the work done. We need the domain name, User, Password Hash. When used normally will give the base64 encoded TGT ticket. But Let’s Pass the Ticket as well in the same step. For this, I will just give the /ptt parameter at the end as shown in the image given below. Rubeus will ask the user for a TGT ticket and after receiving the ticket it encodes the ticket in Base64 and saves the ticket. Since I used the /ptt parameter as well, it will pass the ticket in the current session as well. When the ticket is passed, we can perform the actions as the user we passed the ticket for. Here we take a look at the directories of the said user.

Passing the Ticket: Rubeus

If we don’t pass the ticket in the current session then we can use the ptt parameter separately and pass the ticket as the parameter as shown in the image given below. After successfully passing the ticket, we can use the ticket. For this, we decided to get a cmd session of the user we passed the ticket for. We will be using the PsExec64.exe as shown in the image given below.

Practical Approach: Golden Ticket Attack

Golden Ticket Attack is also a good example of the Pass the Ticket Attack. Let’s take a look at it. Mimikatz allows the attacker to create a forged ticket and simultaneously pass the TGT to KDC service to Get TSG and enable the attacker to connect to Domain Server. This can be done by running both commands on cmd as administrator.

Above command will generate the ticket for impersonate user with RID 500.

As soon as I ran the above-mentioned commands the attacker gets a new cmd prompt which allows the attacker to connect with Domain Server using PsExec.exe as shown in the below image.


  • Audit all Kerberos authentication and credential use events and review for discrepancies. Unusual remote authentication events that correlate with other suspicious activity (such as writing and executing binaries) may indicate malicious activity.
  • Event ID 4769 is generated on the Domain Controller when using a golden ticket after the KRBTGT password has been reset twice, as mentioned in the mitigation section. The status code 0x1F indicates the action has failed due to “Integrity check on decrypted field failed” and indicates misuse by a previously invalidated golden ticket.


  • For containing the impact of a previously generated golden ticket, reset the built-in KRBTGT account password twice, which will invalidate any existing golden tickets that have been created with the KRBTGT hash and other Kerberos tickets derived from it.
  • Ensure that local administrator accounts have complex, unique passwords.
  • Limit domain admin account permissions to domain controllers and limited servers. Delegate other admin functions to separate accounts.
  • Do not allow a user to be a local administrator for multiple systems.

Author: Pavandeep Singh is a Technical Writer, Researcher and Penetration Tester. Can be Contacted on Twitter and LinkedIn