SANS 2021 Holiday Hack Challenge (HHC) - KringleCon

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Every year the SANS Institute and the Counter Hack Team hosts a ‘Holiday Hack Challenge’ also commonly referred to as HHC.

The SANS HHC contains a number of unique infosec related challenges designed to test and improve the technical skills of those interested or working within Information/Cyber Security.

The 2021 Holiday Hack Challenge can be found below:

SANS 2020 HHC - KringleCon 4: Calling Birds

Quick Statistics for HHC 2021

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SANS keeps a number of past challenges (including HHC 2021) available all year long for those who still want to take part after the challenge has concluded which can be found below:

SANS Past HHC Challenges


For those looking to learn or expand on their technical abilities these types of challenges can often be a good starting point with many participants choosing to document and publish their write-ups for every challenge completed.

Included as part of the SANS HHC is the option to submit your write-up for each challenge (prior to the deadline) to enter into the SANS Contest.

In January 2021, I successfully completed all of the challenges and submitted my write-up to the Counter Hack Team for the fourth year in a row.

This year I recreated the world of KringleCon IV as a playable JRPG game to deliver my write-up in addition to creating an ‘Edutainment’ series on YouTube.

I have chosen to do this to both challenge myself in creating this in such a short space of time, but also to highlight failures in an entertaining way.

Imposter Syndrome is fairly prevalent in this industry, so to highlight the time taken to solve challenges, and some of the failures along the way, in my opinion, is a much needed addition which is rarely included in these write-ups.

JRPG Playable Write-up


YouTube Playlist:


Final Notes

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