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


The articles series for Lateral Movement which includes 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:

Target Machine

  • Server
    • OS: Windows Server 2016
    • IP Address:
    • Domain: local
    • User: Administrator
  • Client
    • OS: Windows 10
    • IP Address:
    • 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 an 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

Credential Dumping: DCSync Attack

The most of the Organisation need more than one domain controller for their Active Directory and to maintain consistency among multiple Domain controller, it is necessary to have the Active Directory objects replicated through those DCs with the help of MS-DRSR refer as Microsoft feature Directory Replication Service (DRS) Remote Protocol that is used to replicate users data from one DC to another. Taking Advantage of this feature the attack abuse the MS-DRSR using Mimikatz-DCSYNC.

Table of Content

  • What is DCSYNC Attack
  • Walkthorugh
  • Mimikatz
  • PowerShell Empire
  • Metasploit

What is DCSYNC Attack

The Mimikatz DCSYNC-function allows an attacker to replicate Domain Controller (DC) behaviour. Typically impersonates as a domain controller and request other DC’s for user credential data via GetNCChanges.

But compromised account should be a member of administrators, Domain Admin or Enterprise Admin to retrieve account password hashes from the others domain controller. As a result, the intruder will build Kerberos forged tickets using a retrieved hash to obtain any of the Active Directory ‘s resources and this is known as Golden Ticket attack.

Walkthrough on DCSYNC Attack


So, here we have a normal user account, hence at present User, Yashika is not the member of any privileged account (administrators, Domain Admin or Enterprise Admin).

When the attacker attempts to execute the command MimiKatz-DCSYNC to get user credentials by requesting other domain controllers in the domain, this will cause an error as shown in the image. This is not possible.

So now we have granted Domain Admins right for user Yashika and now yashika has become the member of domain Admin Group which is also AD a privileged group.

We then confirmed this by listing the details of user Yashika ‘s group information and found that she is part of the domain admin group.

Now let ask for a credential for KRBTGT account by executing the following command using mimikatz:

As a result, it will retrieve the KRBTGT NTLM HASH, this hash further can be used to conduct the very famous GOLDEN Ticket attack, read more about it from here.

Similarly, for every user account in the domain with the same command, we can obtain credentials. Here, it not only requests the current hash but also seeks to get the previous credentials stored.

PowerShell Empire

If you want to conduct this attack remotely, PowerShell Empire is one of the best tools to conduct DCSYNC attack. Only you need to compromise the machine who is member privilege account (administrators, Domain Admin or Enterprise Admin) as shown here.

Now load the following module that will invoke the mimikatz Powershell script to execute the dcsync attack to obtain the credential by asking from an others domain controller in the domain. Here again, we will request for KRBTGT account Hashes and as result, it will retrieve the KRBTGT NTLM HASH.

Likewise, the Empire has a similar module that retrieves the hash of the entire domain controller users account.


If you have meterpreter session of the victim machine who account is member of domain admin, then here also you can execute Mimikatz-DCSYNC attack in order to obtain user’s password.

If your compromised account is a member of the domain admin group, then without wasting time load KIWI and run following command:

As a result, we found the hashes for krbtgt account and this will help us to conduct Golden Ticket attack for further.

Abusing Microsoft Outlook 365 to Capture NTLM

In this post we will discuss “How the attacker uses the Microsoft office for phishing attack to get the NTLM hashes from Windows.” Since we all knew that Microsoft Office applications like Word , PowerPoint , Excel and Outlook are the most reliable resource for any organization, and an attacker takes advantage of this reliance to masquerade the user.

Here, we’ve been trying to explain what a different approach an attack uses for a phishing attack to capture Microsoft Windows NTLM hashes.

In actual fact, the attacker tried to use the UNC path injection technique to capture the Windows NTLM hashes and use phishing to achieve his goal.

Table of Content

  • Link UNC Path in an Image
  • Link UNC PATH in a Text File
  • Link UNC PATH Word Document


Here we are using Kali Linux and its IP is, this IP will be used for UNC Path.

Link UNC Path in an Image

Objective 1: send phishing mail to the target user that contains malicious image.

Use office 365 to linking UNC path within an image, for this insert an image and draft a mail for your Victim to masquerade him/her.

Inject the UNC path by adding a hyperlink to the image as shown below. Now-a-day attackers use the COVID-19 precaution images to carry out a large-scale phishing attack.

And we used our Kali Linux IP here to steal the NTLM hashes. This phase could be considered as an easy phase for a threat hunter while hunting for IOC as per pyramid of plain , because here the attacker’s malicious domain address or IP in dword format is used to evade the intruder detection system.

Once you have drafted your message using office 365, install the responder in your Kali Linux which to capture the NTLM hashes.

Responder is a LLMNR, NBT-NS and MDNS poisoner, with built-in HTTP/SMB/MSSQL/FTP/LDAP rogue authentication server supporting NTLMv1/NTLMv2/LMv2, Extended Security NTLMSSP and Basic HTTP authentication.

Run the given command and just after executing responder send the mail to the victim.

Now, when the victim opens the mail and clicks on the image or opens a new tab or saves the image, his/her NTLM hashes have been stolen without his/her knowledge.

As result the attacker will obtain the NTLM hashes of the victim’s machine as shown in the image given below. Here you can observe that it has given NetBIOS username along with hashes.

An attacker may use John’s ripper or other NTLM hashed cracking tools to retrieve a password. As you can see here, we used the above NTLM hashes file generated by the responder to extract Victim’s password with the help of john the ripper.

Link UNC PATH in a Text File

Objective 2: Send phishing mail to the target user that contains Object.

Till Office 2013 it was possible to send a malicious attachment by injecting UNC Path but after Office 2013 the link to the file option is disabled, which prevents an attacker from carrying out a phishing attack via a malicious attachment.

Yet the attacker still figures out about the second alternative to send malicious attachment. Despite sending attachment they try to link object in the mail.

Here we have added a text file as object, here we cannot use “link to file” feature for injecting UNC path.

Once you will add the object, inject the hyperlink for UNC Path as done above, i.e. \\ and mail to the victim. On other hand use responder, the to steal NLTM hashes as done above.

Now when the victim will opens the mail and clicked on the text or opens in new tab, his/her NTLM hashes has been stolen without his knowledge.

As result the attacker will obtain the NTLM hashes of the victim’s machine as shown in the image given below. Here you can observe that it has given NetBIOS username along with hashes.

Link UNC PATH Word Document

Objective:  Send phishing mail to the target user that contains Word Document Attachment.

In most scenarios, the attacker uses Word Document to make the email appear authentic, so he injects the UNC path inside the document file by hyperlinking the file inside. But as we mention, Outlook removed the option “link to file” or “insert as a link” to prevent attackers from sending malicious documents.

There is an alternative technique that allows an attacker to inject the UNC Path into the attachment. We have written the HTML code in a text file containing the UNC Path link in the src image as shown in the html image.

Now open a Word Document and link the html file as object, thus we move to “insert > Object > Text from file”.

Now insert the HTML file and select the option “insert as Link” as shown the image.

Now use the Word Document that contains a link to the HTML file to be sent as an attachment and sent the mail to the victim, and wait for the victim to respond by putting the responder in the back door.

Now, when the victim opens the mail and clicks on the text or opens a new tab, his / her NTLM hashes have been stolen without his/her knowledge.

As result the attacker will obtain the NTLM hashes of the victim’s machine as shown in the image given below. Here you can observe that it has given NetBIOS username along with hashes.

Conclusion: So we saw how the attacker cleverly injected the UNC path into an image or text file or Word document and masquerade the victim by sending Phishing mail.

Lateral Movement: Pass the Cache

In this post, we’ll discuss how an attacker uses the ccache file to compromise kerberos authentication to access the application server without using a password. This attack is known as Pass the cacche (Ptc).

Table of Content

Credential Cache

Ccache Types

Walkthrough Pass the Ccache attack

  • Method 1:Mimikatz
  • Method 2: KRB5CCNAME

Credential Cache

A credential cache (or “ccache”) contains the Kerberos credential although it remains valid and, typically, while the user’s session lasts, so that multiple service authentication (e.g. connecting to a web or mail server more than once) does not involve contacting the KDC at every time.

A credential cache usually contains one initial ticket which is obtained using a password or another form of identity verification. If this ticket is a ticket-granting ticket, it can be used to obtain additional credentials without the password. Because the credential cache does not store the password, less long-term damage can be done to the user’s account if the machine is compromised.

A credentials cache stores a default client principal name, set when the cache is created. This is the name shown at the top of the klist

Ccache Types

There are several kinds of credentials cache supported in the MIT Kerberos library. Not all are supported on every platform.

FILE caches: These are the simplest and most portable. A simple flat file format is used to store one credential after another. This is the default ccache type.

API: It is only implemented on Windows. It communicates with a server process that holds the credentials in memory for the user, rather than writing them to disk.

DIR points:  To the storage location of the collection of the credential caches in FILE: format. It is most useful when dealing with multiple Kerberos realms and KDCs.

KEYRING: It is Linux-specific, and uses the kernel keyring support to store credential data in unswappable kernel memory where only the current user should be able to access it.

MEMORY caches: These are for storage of credentials that don’t need to be made available outside of the current process. Memory ccaches are faster than file ccaches and are automatically destroyed when the process exits.

MSLSA: It is a Windows-specific cache type that accesses the Windows credential store.

Read More about  MIT Kerberos Credenial Cache from here:

Walkthrough Pass the Ccache attack

Pass the ccache attack uses ticket granting ticket to access the application server without go by kerberos Authentication, here we will try to store Kerb5_tgt in form of ccache and use or pass this ccache file to service application server.

Method 1:Mimikatz

So we have use impacket python script which will use a password, hash or aesKey, it will request a TGT and save it as ccache.

with the help of above command, you will be able to request Kerberos authorized ticket in the form of ccache whereas with the help of the following command you will be able to inject the ticket to access the resource.

Once you have the ccache, use mimikatz to pass the ccache file and try to access the resource, thus you need to execute following commands:


Note: Here we first generated the ccache and then used mimiktaz, but you can also drag the ccache file from the memory using Klist-c, which will list all the ccache stored in the memory and then use mimikatz to access the resource.

And so a new command prompt will be triggered, which will be the CMD of the requested resource service. You can see how we access the resource without using the password or ticket.kirbi file to access the resource.

Method 2: KRB5CCNAME

Similarly we have use getTGT to to generate the ccache and used KERB5CCNAME pass the ccahe file for the requested service. This is completely remote attack without using local system of compromised victim, but you need to compromise NTLM hashes for that, type following to conduct pass the ccache  attack remotly.

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