Winners and Answers

2019 SANS Holiday Hack Closing Ceremonies Webcast

This year's Holiday Hack Challenge was a smashing success, due to the enormous number of valiant cyber security people who helped recover Santa's turtle doves and thwarted the Tooth Fairy's nefarious plans to destroy the holiday season.

To help people around the world to build their skills, Santa has announced that he'll keep the Holiday Hack Challenge up year-round so you can all practice and work through the challenges as you read through the winning entries below.

First up, we've got our Honorable Mentions. These folks did a wonderful job with their answers, and we heartily congratulate them:

Spencer Alessi
Ben Aveling
Epi Bar
Stanislav Bárta
Michael Benedetti
Blake Bourgeois
Mike Boyle
Curtis Brazzell
David Brosnan
Cameron Brown
Sanjay Choudhary
Ken & Rachel Clark
Tim Corless-Carter
Walid Daboubi
Ryan Daniels
Mike Deibert
Ahmet Durmus
Kai Dusold
Seth Fogie
Irina Ford
Sam Freund
Matthew Furtado
Angel Gallegos
John Goff
Jevan Gray
Bernhard Griener
Igor Guarisma
John Hammond
Paul Hanson
Jim Herubin
Jean-Laurent Huynh 
Steven Hershman II
Brandon Ingalls
Kohei Isono
Ken J
Nino J
Mark Jaroski
Jari Jarvenpaa
Juvy Jose
Anand Kanani
Michael Kenney
Colin Kinsella
Maciej Krzyżaniak
Andrea Lamonato
Cheng Wei Lee
Dennis Maasbommel
Frédéric Maillasson
Devesh Mitra
Sebastian Perez
Christos Polymeropoulos
Brad Priller
Boss Python
Charlie Retzler
Michael Ross
Zach S
Sqearl Salazar
Javier Santos
Philip Schameitat
Johann Schnagle
Jörg Schwarzwälder
Deepak Sharma
Pravesh Kumar Sharma
Harinderjeet Singh
Calle Svensson
Troy Tate
Kevin TeStrake
Jani Tuovila
Polle Vanhoof
Gavin Walker
Ivan Yap
Jonathan Yee
Lee Wei Yeong
Seow Chun Yong
John York

For our next category, we've got a group of people who really went above and beyond with their entries. Their write-ups were SUPERB, demonstrating excellent technical skills along with impressive communication skills. Congrats to those earning a Super Honorable Mention:

Volker Böhme
Thomas Bouve
Brian Carrick
Alberto Certo
Andrew Davies
Paul DeCamp
Travis Deyarmin
Miroslav Dimitrov
Joel Emond
David Forsythe
Coen Goedegebure
David Bernal Michelena
    & Alexandra Gomez
Eric Guillen
Tomoomi Iwata
Nikki Jack
Janusz Jasinski
Tony Karre
Yaron King
Peter Lapornik & Atonios 
Tan Kee Hock and Bjorn Lim
Petri Mäkynen
Yannick Meheut
Jai Minton
Mark Mulvaney
Stanislav Nurilov
Michael Pella
Alexander Penrose
Jeroen van Prooijen
Klaus Pulverer
Pascal Renauld
Dan Roberts
Tobias Roppelt
Christopher Ruggieri 
Niklaus Rümmele
Jeroen Schijvenaars
Mo Sharif
Jason Sosnowski
Will Springer
Florian Akos Szabo
KK Tan
Michael Torres
Istvan Toth
Cody Travis
Stefan Vomel
Justin Wylie

RANDOM DRAW ENTRIES - KringleCon T-shirt
Now, let's review our random-draw winners, who will receive a KringleCon t-shirt. By the way, if you'd like, you can still order your own KringleCon t-shirt here (please note, we don't make any money at all from the t-shirts or other KringleCon swag. All proceeds go to the t-shirt vendor).

Polle Vanhoof
Sanjay (iHuman)
David Bernal Michelena
    & Alexandra Gomez
Aws Aws
Logan Zellem
Adam Burns
Igor Guarisma

BEST TECHNICAL ANSWER - NetWars Continuous Prize
Gosh, we had a multitude of fantastic entries, so picking the best of the best was a daunting task. Still, this incredible entry from Andy Smith is SPECTACULAR. In a series of YouTube videos, Andy walks us all through how he conquered each and every challenge. It's packed with lessons learned and is a great teaching tool for all. Thank you to Andy for his wonderful work that he shares with the community.

Runner Up - KringleCoin
Alexander Penrose

In this category, we also had so many fantastic answers, including some in rhyme and even a script for the Mr. Robot TV show set at the North Pole. But our creative prize goes to Joel Tan, who produced a fun and quirky tell-all gossip magazine about the Holiday Hack Challenge, Santa, and the elves, complete with behind-the-scene facts and tips. What colorful, hilarious fun!!! Kudos, Joel, and thanks for sharing!

Runner Up - KringleCoin
Will Springer

And now, we get to the tippy top of our prize cascade. The winning entry for this one is a stunningly beautiful report, complete with custom-created 3D renderings of the ElfU campus and extraordinarily well written descriptions of how to solve each challenge. I'm talking about the entry from Salaheldin, which is an AMAZING learning tool. Please do yourself a favor and read through it and learn. What GREAT work!

Runners Up - KringleCoin
Yannick MEHEUT
Miroslav Dimitrov
Decker XL
Nikki Jack
Coen Goedegebure
Travis Deyarmin
Cody Travis

Extra Special Noteworthy Exemplary Trophy Award
Those are our official winners. But this year, we've opted to introduce a brand new category for a super special team that has won the Holiday Hack Challenge several times in the past. I'm talking about the amazing Dop, Sam, and Vlad from ESNet. Their entry is absolutely incredible, but, when they sent it in, they told us that they wanted to forgo a prize. They asked us to give any prize they'd earn to another winner, which was really wonderful of them. They said that they participate in the Holiday Hack Challenge because they love doing it and want to share their skills and knowledge with the community. In honor of that thought, we're introducing a new annual award that we'll call the Extra Special Noteworthy Exemplary Trophy Award in their honor. Winners of this award (including Dop, Sam, and Vlad) will receive a KringleCoin and the heartfelt appreciation of the whole Holiday Hack Challenge team and their fans around the world who read their incredible write-up. You can (and absolutely should!!!) read their handiwork here.

With that, let us draw the 2019 SANS Holiday Hack Challenge to a close. Remember, we'll keep the whole system running year-round so you can practice, practice, practice and learn. In fact, as you review the official answers above, you can work through the challenges on your own as you build skills... and that's what the SANS Holiday Hack Challenge is all about!

Thank you all again for helping Santa this year, and we are very much looking forward to having you all join us for the 2020 Holiday Hack Challenge.