Event ID 12 — Kerberos Smart Card Configuration

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The Kerberos client can be configured to use smart card authentication for user accounts on an organization's network.

Event Details

Product: Windows Operating System
ID: 12
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Security-Kerberos
Version: 6.0
Message: While using your smartcard over a VPN connection, the Kerberos subsystem encountered an error. Typically, this indicates the card has been pulled from the reader during the VPN session. Troubleshooting Kerberos Errors


Restart the VPN session

Kerberos uses a smart card to provide mutual authentication when connecting to a virtual private network (VPN). During a VPN session, the smart card must be accessible if Kerberos needs to use it for authentication. To fix this issue, you can restart the VPN session with your smart card inserted into the smart card reader.

To restart the VPN session:

  1. Click Start, and then click Connect To.
  2. If the VPN session is currently active, right-click the connection, and then click Disconnect.
  3. Ensure that the smart card is inserted into the smart card reader.
  4. Right-click the VPN connection, and then click Connect.


To verify that the smart card is working properly, you should reconnect to your organization's network by using smart card authentication. Once you are connected to your organization's network, you should verify that the Kerberos ticket was created sucessfully by using the Klist command-line tool. Klist is used to list all cached Kerberos tickets present on the computer.

Note: Klist.exe is not included with Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000. You must download and install the Windows Server Resource Kit before you can use Klist.exe.

To list all cached Kerberos tickets by using Klist:

  1. Log on to the Kerberos client.
  2. Click Start, point to All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  3. Type klist tickets, and then press ENTER.
  4. Verify that a cached Kerberos ticket is available.
    • Ensure that the Client field displays the client on which you are running Klist.
    • Ensure that the Server field displays the domain in which you are connecting.
  5. Close the command prompt.

Kerberos Smart Card Configuration

Core Security