The SANS 2022 Holiday Hack Challenge, The Year’s Most Awaited Cybersecurity Tradition, Opens to Players of All Skill Levels

Protect the North Pole from Threats and Earn Your Place on Santa’s Nice List – Then Join Santa at KringleCon, a Virtual Conference featuring Cybersecurity Experts

Bethesda, MD, December 8, 2022 – The SANS Institute (SANS) has officially opened its 21st annual Holiday Hack Challenge! 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. This free, hands-on cybersecurity 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.

"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.”

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. The collaborative virtual game allows players to create customized 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 Mr. 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 fascinating 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. Both events take place from December to early January.

Santa is counting on you, so click here to learn more about the 2022 SANS Holiday Hack Challenge and KringleCon.

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 cybersecurity training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions worldwide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cybersecurity events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on technical certifications in cybersecurity. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master’s and bachelor’s degrees, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to manage their “human” cybersecurity risk easily and effectively. 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 various global organizations, from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community.