SANS Holiday Hack Challenge returns, cue the festive cyber action.

December 14, 2023
1 min read

• The annual SANS Holiday Hack Challenge has returned in 2023, this time featuring a blend of festive entertainment and advanced cybersecurity learning opportunities.
• The event is appropriately devised for all skill levels and offers valuable prizes for the standout performances.

The SANS Holiday Hack Challenge is a renowned event that uniquely combines fun and learning, and it aims to increase efficiency in cyber security. This season, it could even help in fending off a potential hacker as the need for robust cyber security is increasingly evident, specifically around the holiday season. During this period, an upsurge in cyber attacks has been noted by numerous reports. Cyber criminals often exploit the crunch time for workers to meet holiday deadlines along with the surge in online shopping hours. Traditional phishing scams related to fictitious charity campaigns, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and credential stuffing incidents exploiting staff’s Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) fatigue are commonly seen during this season.

The Holiday Hack Challenge hosted by SANS is tailored to welcome participants from various experience levels, equipping them to effectively combat these threats. Prizes at the end of the competition are additionally offered to encourage the best available entries.

The range of tasks in this year’s event, “Holiday Hack Challenge 2023: A Holiday Odyssey,” is impressively comprehensive. The challenges cover areas like AI-assisted cybersecurity, offense, defense, AI voice cloning, cloud security, web application security, phishing analysis, threat hunting, and the identification of vulnerabilities in space mission software packages.

Ed Skoudis, Director of the Holiday Hack Challenge, hosts an opening YouTube video to offer a glimpse of what lies ahead in the competition and offer useful advice for potential participants. Moreover, the event will feature festive cyber security-themed music to further boost the holiday spirit.

This event presents a fun opportunity for already experienced professionals or those considering a future in cyber security to widen their skills while delighting in the holiday festivities.

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