Working through the game, there’s a good bit of narravite that was difficult to weave into the technial descriptions of how I solved the objective. Therefore, I’ll present that full narrative here.

KringleCon takes place at Santa’s Castle. Once the gates opened, I walked over the bridge, narrative part one of twelve is unlocked:

As you walk through the gates, a familiar red-suited holiday figure warmly welcomes all of his special visitors to KringleCon.

As I approach Santa, he welcomes me: 1547057754387

Welcome, my friends! Welcome to my castle! Would you come forward please?

Welcome. It’s nice to have you here! I’m so glad you could come. This is going to be such an exciting day!

I hope you enjoy it. I think you will.

Today is the start of KringleCon, our new conference for cyber security practitioners and hackers around the world.

KringleCon is designed to share tips and tricks to help leverage our skills to make the world a better, safer place.

Remember to look around, enjoy some talks by world-class speakers, and mingle with our other guests.

And, if you are interested in the background of this con, please check out Ed Skoudis’ talk called START HERE.

Delighted to meet you. Overjoyed! Enraptured! Entranced! Are we ready? Yes! In we go!

Oh, and as you enjoy the conference, click on your badge to see a series of objectives for you to conquer!

Clicking on my badge reveals 10 objectives:


I solved the Essential Editor Skills Carnberry Pi terminal, and then approached the KringleCon Holiday Hack History kiosk. From there I moved to solving The Name Game Terminal, and the Directory Browsing objective. Finally, after solving Lethal ForensicELFication, opening the door to the Speaker UNpreparedness Room, and solving the de Bruijn Sequences objective, the narrative picked up again when two new narrative elements unlocked:

Suddenly, all elves in the castle start looking very nervous. You can overhear some of them talking with worry in their voices.

The toy soldiers, who were always gruff, now seem especially determined as they lock all the exterior entrances to the building and barricade all the doors. No one can get out! And the toy soldiers’ grunts take on an increasingly sinister tone.

Slightly concerned about the state of the conference, I continued working my objectives. After helping Wunorse with the Stall Mucking Terminal, I solved the Data Repo Analysis objective, and unlocked two more narrative elements:

The toy soldiers act even more aggressively. They are searching for something – something very special inside of Santa’s castle – and they will stop at NOTHING until they find it. Hans seems to be directing their activities.

In the main lobby on the bottom floor of Santa’s castle, Hans calls everyone around to deliver a speech. Make sure you visit Hans to hear his speech.

Heading to the lobby, I find Hans flanked by Toly Soldier 4: 1547070067176

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Due to the North Pole’s legacy of providing coal as presents around the globe …

… they are about to be taught a lesson in the real use of POWER.

You will be witnesses.

Now, Santa… that’s a nice suit… John Philips, North Pole. I have two myself. Rumor has it Alabaster buys his there.

I have comrades in arms around the world who are languishing in prison.

The Elvin State Department enjoys rattling its saber for its own ends. Now it can rattle it for ME.

The following people are to be released from their captors.

In the Dungeon for Errant Reindeer, the seven members of the New Arietes Front.

In Whoville Prison, the imprisoned leader of ATNAS Corporation, Miss Cindy Lou Who.

In the Land of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch.

Well that’s not good at all. Eager to complete my objectives, I moved to the next one. After solving the CURLing Master terminal and the AD Privilege Discovery objective, the next two narrative elements unlock:

The toy soldiers continue behaving very rudely, grunting orders to the guests and to each other in vaguely Germanic phrases. Suddenly, one of the toy soldiers appears wearing a grey sweatshirt that has written on it in red pen, “NOW I HAVE A ZERO-DAY. HO-HO-HO.”

A rumor spreads among the elves that Alabaster has lost his badge. Several elves say, “What do you think someone could do with that?”

Things are getting worse. Luckily, my next objective makes use of this badge I just found from Alabaster.1547070383858 After solving Yule Log Analysis terminal, and then using Alabaster’s badge to hack into the Scan-O-Matic, I gained access to Santa’s Secret Room. But before I could even enter, more narrative arrived:

Hans has started monologuing again. Please visit him in Santa’s lobby for a status update.

Rushing down to the loby, I find Hans. As everyone gathers around, he says:

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Due to the North Pole’s legacy of providing coal as presents around the globe …

… they are about to be taught a lesson in the real use of POWER.

You will be witnesses.

Now, Santa… that’s a nice suit… John Philips, North Pole. I have two myself. Rumor has it Alabaster buys his there.

I have comrades in arms around the world who are languishing in prison.

Terrified, I turn my focus back to my objectives. I quickly knock off the Dev Ops Fail Cranberry Pi, and the HR Incident Response objective. That unlockes additional narrative:

Great work! You have blocked access to Santa’s treasure… for now. Please visit Hans in Santa’s Secret Room for an update.

And then suddenly, Hans slips and falls into a snowbank. His nefarious plan thwarted, he’s now just cold and wet.

But Santa still has more questions for you to solve!

Of course. I opened the door to Santa’s secret room, but rushed away to hear Hans’ monologue before even venturing in! I solve the Python Escape Terminal and the Network Traffic Forensics objective, and head towards the secret room.

Inside the room, it’s as the narrative said it’d be, with Hans in a snowbank, and Santa and Alabaster near three terminals:


Hans doesn’t seem completely defeated:

You’ve found me and blocked my access to Santa’s treasure.

You’ve done well in foiling me. But, I’ve still got a chance.

When you steal six hundred dollars, you can disappear. When you steal all of Santa’s treasure, they will find you… unless….

(muffled yelling)

I talk to Santa to see what’s going on, and he instructs me to finish my objectives:


You did a great job, but keep going!

Solve all remaining objectives in your badge.

After solving the Sleighbell Lotto Terminal, I talk to Alabaster, and he informs me of the ransomware issues. I take care of those, stopping the malware and recovering Alabasters’s password. I modify and use that password to open the vault door using the Piano lock. On doing to, the last narrative is unlocked:

Congrats! You have solved the hardest challenge! Please visit Santa and Hans inside Santa’s Secret Room for an update on your amazing accomplishment!

Santa and Hans? Both of them? I rush in to the room to see what’s going on… And find Santa, Hans, and two elves dressed as Toy Soldiers:


Hans doesn’t have much to say:

It’s a pleasure to see you again.


But Santa lays it all out:

You DID IT! You completed the hardest challenge. You see, Hans and the soldiers work for ME. I had to test you. And you passed the test!

You WON! Won what, you ask? Well, the jackpot, my dear! The grand and glorious jackpot!

You see, I finally found you!

I came up with the idea of KringleCon to find someone like you who could help me defend the North Pole against even the craftiest attackers.

That’s why we had so many different challenges this year.

We needed to find someone with skills all across the spectrum.

I asked my friend Hans to play the role of the bad guy to see if you could solve all those challenges and thwart the plot we devised.

And you did!

Oh, and those brutish toy soldiers? They are really just some of my elves in disguise.

See what happens when they take off those hats?

Based on your victory… next year, I’m going to ask for your help in defending my whole operation from evil bad guys.

And welcome to my vault room. Where’s my treasure? Well, my treasure is Christmas joy and good will.

You did such a GREAT job! And remember what happened to the people who suddenly got everything they ever wanted?

They lived happily ever after.

Time to start getting ready for next year!