SANS Holiday Hack Challenge

The SANs Holiday Hack Challenge is a popular and engaging annual cybersecurity event that features a unique blend of digital forensics, offensive security, defensive security, and other cybersecurity topics. It is hosted by the SANS Institute, one of the largest and most trusted sources for information security training, certification, and research worldwide.


The SANs Holiday Hack Challenge incorporates a series of challenging and entertaining cybersecurity puzzles, with a festive holiday theme, for participants of all skill levels. The event typically takes place during the December holiday season, and participants have around a month to complete the challenges. It is free to participate, making the event accessible to a wide range of cybersecurity enthusiasts, from beginners to seasoned professionals.


The SANs Holiday Hack Challenge presents a compelling storyline where participants assume the role of a security practitioner tasked with solving various security issues and puzzles. Details of the challenges are weaved into the storyline, which may contain videos, images, and other forms of multimedia. Solving the challenges requires creative problem-solving and the application of various cybersecurity skills, including:

Each year, the Holiday Hack Challenge presents a new storyline and set of challenges aimed at providing real-world learning opportunities for those looking to improve their cybersecurity skills.


Participants have a chance to win prestigious recognition for their performance in the challenge. By successfully solving the holiday-themed cybersecurity puzzles, participants may be awarded prizes, SANS training courses, certifications, or other recognition in the cybersecurity community.

Why Participate

The SANs Holiday Hack Challenge is a valuable experience for people with an interest in cybersecurity, offering an entertaining and educational challenge. Reasons to participate include:

In conclusion, the SANs Holiday Hack Challenge offers a unique opportunity to develop your cybersecurity skills in a fun and challenging environment. Whether you are new to the field or an industry veteran, participating in this event will help you grow professionally and make valuable connections in the cybersecurity community. Don’t miss the next SANs Holiday Hack Challenge!