Join us for the FREE Cyber Defense Forum | Live Online on October 9


Subscribe to SANS Newsletters

Join the SANS Community to receive the latest curated cyber security news, vulnerabilities and mitigations, training opportunities, and our webcast schedule.

SANS Announces its Return to Texas for Annual Pen Test Cyber Security Training Event

NetWars Participants Given the Opportunity to Earn Up to Five Challenge Coins at Coin-a-Palooza Event

  • Bethesda, MD
  • February 14, 2019

SANS Institute, the global leader in cyber security training, today announced its return to Texas for SANS Pen Test Austin 2019 (#SANSPenTestAustin) taking place April 29 - May 4. Hands-on immersion style course will teach students new pen testing/ethical hacking skills. Attendees also have the opportunity to test their skills during various challenges and earn coveted SANS Challenge Coins during Coin-a-Palooza.

According to Ed Skoudis (@edskoudis), SANS NetWars CyberCity Director and Faculty Fellow, “SANS Challenge Coins are not given, they are earned. Modeled after the military’s use of Challenge Coins to signify membership in a team or club, SANS Challenge Coins represent great technical achievement and are treated with respect and honor. Earning a SANS Pen Test Challenge Coin is like gaining membership into a club of highly skilled professionals. When one coin holder sees the same kind of class coin that he or she has earned on another person’s desk, that’s a sign of a shared bond between the students.”

SANS Challenge Coins are awarded to students earning first place in a penetration testing course capstone event. Each class has a different coin and includes a cipher etched onto the coin, challenging a student to break the crypto or encoding to reveal a secret. Coin-a-Palooza is unique in that it takes place only twice a year and allows students to earn coins for classes that they’ve taken in the past (but may have not earned a coin at). Coin-a-Palooza offers the opportunity for students to earn coins by participating, and doing well, in the SANS NetWars cyber range challenge.  

SANS Pen Test Austin 2019 features 12 courses covering such topics as ethical hacking, web app pen test, mobile device security, wireless pen test, advanced exploit development, and digital forensics. Skoudis will teach his
SEC560: Network Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking course, the flagship SANS course for penetration testing and must have training for every well-rounded security professional. Three exciting nights of SANS Core NetWars (CtF) will provide fun and an opportunity to build serious InfoSec skills. Attendees can also hone their skills while participating in SANS CyberCity Missions at NetWars - CyberCity.

For a complete list of courses and evening events, or to register for SANS Pen Test Austin 2019, visit:

About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions worldwide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at In-Person and Live Online cyber security training events, and more than 50 courses are available anytime, anywhere with our OnDemand platform. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master’s degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their ‘human’ cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system – the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community. (