Cooperative research and education organisation the SANS Institute has officially opened its 21st annual Holiday Hack Challenge.
SANS says the free, hands-on cybersecurity challenge – Holiday Hack Challenge – is open to all skill levels and ages, where players will have their skills tested by a “holiday supervillain with the potential to win prizes ranging from cybersecurity goodies to the grand prize of a free SANS online training course”.
SANS notes that participants can join Santa to “save the holiday season from treachery by recovering five precious rings, each ring representing a different quest to defeat cybersecurity obstacles and change the course of the future”.
“We are thrilled to present another year of the SANS Holiday Hack Challenge,” said Ed Skoudis President of the SANS Technology Institute college and SANS Chief Holiday Officer.
“We’ve been saving the holidays with the cybersecurity community since 2002, and this year, we hope even more players will join the fight in this playful way to advance critical skills and cyber capabilities across the globe.”
SANS says more than 17,000 players participated in 2021, and this year’s Holiday Hack Challenge is expected to reach even more cybersecurity professionals and students- and the collaborative virtual game allows players to create customised avatars and join up with teammates, friends, and players worldwide in this “one-of-a-kind shared virtual experience to explore the North Pole while advancing their cybersecurity skills across cloud security, forensics, offensive and defensive security, and more”.
“Our cybersecurity elves narrowly saved the season last year, protecting Santa and the North Pole from danger, and we all thought the holidays would be safe for years to come,” said Ed Skoudis.
“We have discovered that evil still lurks across the icy terrain, so we must call on our cybersecurity community, from elementary students to seasoned professionals, to join us in this mission to save the holidays again!”
The Holiday Hack Challenge takes place along with KringleCon 2022, a virtual conference hosted at the North Pole, featuring a series of talks from cybersecurity experts discussing the latest information security topics.
Some talks will also contain hints to help players build skills to solve this year’s Holiday Hack challenges, and both events take place from December to early January.
SANS Institute says click here to learn more about the 2022 SANS Holiday Hack Challenge and KringleCon.
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