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T1550.003 Pass the Ticket

Adversaries may “pass the ticket” using stolen Kerberos tickets to move laterally within an environment, bypassing normal system access controls. Pass the ticket (PtT) is a method of authenticating to a system using Kerberos tickets without having access to an account’s password. Kerberos authentication can be used as the first step to lateral movement to a remote system.

When preforming PtT, valid Kerberos tickets for Valid Accounts are captured by OS Credential Dumping. A user’s service tickets or ticket granting ticket (TGT) may be obtained, depending on the level of access. A service ticket allows for access to a particular resource, whereas a TGT can be used to request service tickets from the Ticket Granting Service (TGS) to access any resource the user has privileges to access.12

A Silver Ticket can be obtained for services that use Kerberos as an authentication mechanism and are used to generate tickets to access that particular resource and the system that hosts the resource (e.g., SharePoint).1

A Golden Ticket can be obtained for the domain using the Key Distribution Service account KRBTGT account NTLM hash, which enables generation of TGTs for any account in Active Directory.3

Adversaries may also create a valid Kerberos ticket using other user information, such as stolen password hashes or AES keys. For example, “overpassing the hash” involves using a NTLM password hash to authenticate as a user (i.e. Pass the Hash) while also using the password hash to create a valid Kerberos ticket.4

Item Value
ID T1550.003
Sub-techniques T1550.001, T1550.002, T1550.003, T1550.004
Tactics TA0005, TA0008
Platforms Windows
Version 1.1
Created 30 January 2020
Last Modified 30 March 2023

Procedure Examples

ID Name Description
G0016 APT29 APT29 used Kerberos ticket attacks for lateral movement.16
G0050 APT32 APT32 successfully gained remote access by using pass the ticket.14
G0060 BRONZE BUTLER BRONZE BUTLER has created forged Kerberos Ticket Granting Ticket (TGT) and Ticket Granting Service (TGS) tickets to maintain administrative access.15
S0002 Mimikatz Mimikatz’s LSADUMP::DCSync and KERBEROS::PTT modules implement the three steps required to extract the krbtgt account hash and create/use Kerberos tickets.891011
S0192 Pupy Pupy can also perform pass-the-ticket.12
S0053 SeaDuke Some SeaDuke samples have a module to use pass the ticket with Kerberos for authentication.13


ID Mitigation Description
M1015 Active Directory Configuration To contain 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.6 For each domain, change the KRBTGT account password once, force replication, and then change the password a second time. Consider rotating the KRBTGT account password every 180 days.7
M1027 Password Policies Ensure that local administrator accounts have complex, unique passwords.
M1026 Privileged Account Management Limit domain admin account permissions to domain controllers and limited servers. Delegate other admin functions to separate accounts.1
M1018 User Account Management Do not allow a user to be a local administrator for multiple systems.


ID Data Source Data Component
DS0026 Active Directory Active Directory Credential Request
DS0028 Logon Session Logon Session Creation
DS0002 User Account User Account Authentication


  1. Metcalf, S. (2014, November 22). Mimikatz and Active Directory Kerberos Attacks. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 

  2. Deply, B. (2014, January 13). Pass the ticket. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 

  3. Campbell, C. (2014). The Secret Life of Krbtgt. Retrieved December 4, 2014. 

  4. Warren, J. (2019, February 26). How to Detect Overpass-the-Hash Attacks. Retrieved February 4, 2021. 

  5. Abolins, D., Boldea, C., Socha, K., Soria-Machado, M. (2016, April 26). Kerberos Golden Ticket Protection. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 

  6. Sean Metcalf. (2014, November 10). Kerberos & KRBTGT: Active Directory’s Domain Kerberos Service Account. Retrieved January 30, 2020. 

  7. UCF. (n.d.). The password for the krbtgt account on a domain must be reset at least every 180 days. Retrieved November 5, 2020. 

  8. Metcalf, S. (2015, November 13). Unofficial Guide to Mimikatz & Command Reference. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 

  9. Metcalf, S. (2015, August 7). Kerberos Golden Tickets are Now More Golden. Retrieved December 1, 2017. 

  10. Schroeder, W. (2015, September 22). Mimikatz and DCSync and ExtraSids, Oh My. Retrieved December 4, 2017. 

  11. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), the New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre (NZ NCSC), CERT New Zealand, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (UK NCSC) and the US National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC). (2018, October 11). Joint report on publicly available hacking tools. Retrieved March 11, 2019. 

  12. Nicolas Verdier. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2018. 

  13. Symantec Security Response. (2015, July 13). “Forkmeiamfamous”: Seaduke, latest weapon in the Duke armory. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 

  14. Dahan, A. (2017). Operation Cobalt Kitty. Retrieved December 27, 2018. 

  15. Counter Threat Unit Research Team. (2017, October 12). BRONZE BUTLER Targets Japanese Enterprises. Retrieved January 4, 2018. 

  16. Dunwoody, M. and Carr, N.. (2016, September 27). No Easy Breach DerbyCon 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.