[Editor's Note: Some things I work on are the result of ten, thirty, or one-hundred minutes of effort. Others are the result of six months or a year of work (such as my office tour). This blog is the result of over a year's work by not only me, but also John Strand, Josh Wright, Kevin Johnson, Steve Sims, and many others).
In each of the seven SANS Penetration Testing Curriculum courses, Day 6 is a Capture the Flag (CtF) event, allowing students to pull together their experiences from the previous five days into a full-day exercise that models real-world penetration test activities. For about a year now, we've been rolling out course-specific CtF challenge coins as a prize for the noteworthy accomplishment of coming in the Top five winners in each class. But, only a few people know the backstory of the SANS Pen Test Curriculum coins... until now. You see, there is a cipher embedded in each coin, and here's the story of how that came to be.