SANS Penetration Testing

Announcing the Awesome New SANS Brochure Challenge

Here's some fun news. SANS just released a new kind of challenge - one that unfolds from the pages of a SANS brochure itself. Created by Jeff McJunkin and a group of challenge-writing collaborators, we launched it this week with the mailing of the SANS Network Security brochure for the upcoming conference in Las Vegas in October 2014. This challenge will take you across many domains of knowledge, including (but not limited to!): infosec fundamentals, pen testing, digital forensics, steganography, social media, mobile devices, and much, much more, all wrapped up in some geeky fun!

You'll enjoy all these areas and more from the comfort of your brochure (paper or pdf) and local computer, along with everyone's favorite global network, the Internet itself. You'll be able to advance all the way through this challenge from anywhere in the world. If this sounds a bit overwhelming, don't worry! We recommend you start on the challenge now, and have fun with it.

Regardless of whether you can make it to the conference in Vegas or not, you can still participate in the challenge and win prizes by working from the brochures or their pdfs. If you receive SANS brochures in the mail, you should be on the lookout for the Network Security brochure in the mail this week for the challenge details on Page 2. Or, skip the paper altogether and jump on sleuthing and hacking your way through the challenge by clicking on the image below to download the Network Security brochure. The challenge starts on Page 2 in the section cleverly titled "SANS Brochure Challenge."

Once you conquer the first challenge in the Network Security brochure, you'll see other challenge components in the SANS Albuquerque brochure (shipped the week of 7/10/14, but downloadable here now), the SANS Baltimore brochure (shipped the week of 7/31/14, but downloadable here now), and the SANS Seattle brochure (shipped the week of 8/14/14, but downloadable here now) over the next few weeks. We'll post reminders about those brochures in this blog when they hit the mail as well. You can get rolling and make some huge progress based on what's in the Network Security (Vegas) brochure alone.

So, how can you win and earn the undying respect of all your friends? There are three ways to win, though for each of them you'll need to finish the challenge. We'll award prizes to the first person to complete the challenge, the person with the best technical write-up describing how they did it, and one lucky person who wins a random draw from all entries.

This innovative, quirky, and fun challenge itself will tell you where to send your answer when you conquer it!

What will you win?

The person with the best technical write-up will receive a signed copy of the "Counter Hack Reloaded" book, as will the winner of the random drawing. We'll also tell everyone about your amazing work as a victor in this challenge! And, the first person to finish the challenge will receive the GRAND PRIZE - a free four-month subscription to NetWars Continuous, valued at over $2,000! You'll have plenty of opportunities to develop your skills practicing in this on-line cyber range, especially with our NetWars Continuous automated hint system to ensure a Stuck-Free? experience!

Rules of Engagement for the brochure challenge:

  • No denial of service attacks
  • No brute force attacks - although you won't gain access in this way, you could slow down the experience for other players
  • No attacks against the web servers or their underlying operating systems
  • No sharing of challenge links, hints, or write-ups before the contest deadline has passed

Have fun with our SANS first ever official brochure challenge!

-Jeff McJunkin, Ed Skoudis, and the SANS Team

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