My Blog List

Monday, July 25, 2022

Hak4Kidz 2022 Chicago Event Will Be In-person!


We are thrilled to announce that Hak4Kidz Chicago events are returning to meeting in-person!

Scheduled on Saturday, September 17, 2022 in the Old Post Office located at 433 W. Van Buren St.

Even though we had fun teaching Tyros virtual over Webex with Cisco's Cyber Defense Clinic platform, based upon CDC guidance on gatherings, many locations have changed their in-person gathering policies enabling events to proceed.

We are also excited to announce this year's youth keynote presenter is a high school freshmen, while in middle school, Kendrick Lee earned the CompTIA A+ certification! Kendrick will share his adventure of earning a certification that launches many adult's careers into IT. Very inspiring!

When asked about his experience studying for the exam, Kendrick responded, "The CompTIA A+ is brutal, for anyone. But with the right motivation and passion, you’ll prevail."

This year's badge is a Do-It-Yourself soldering badge project that's designed to get us restarting our passion to build.

Activities this year will include:

  • The ultimate Hak4Kidz themed hacker escape room!
  • The wildly popular lock picking roadshow... Fox Pick!! 
  • Hardware Hacking Station
  • Crash-bots
  • Vintage Computing
  • jrCTF - Bring a laptop.
  • Snap Circuits
  • SpyMath
  • Technology Destruction Village

For more detailed descriptions and to stay up to date with activity changes, visit our Activities page.

Workshops this year will include:

  • Byte Size HackerBox 0003 Walk-through
  • Intermediate Soldering ( 2 sessions )
  • Building the Game of Life with Python
  • Cyber Defense Clinic

We are trying something new this year, workshops are add-ons in Eventbrite. Please remember to select a couple workshops with registration.

Share this event flyer with friends, family, frienemies, and total strangers over email and social media using this year's flyer.

Hak4Kidz is planning to return to our traditional early June schedule in 2023.

Register today for our 7th annual event!

Stay safe everyone! Question truth, and be better.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Byte Size Box 0001 Walk-through Video Available


This month's HackerBox Byte Size is about USB data protection and privacy.

Whether you are a fan of the Incognito sticker to hide your activity online, or the HB shield sticker to protect your laptop with a glider and Open Source hardware logo, or the CAUTION CYBER HAZARD key chain, these contents provide edutainment as a reminder to stay vigilant in the cyberz.

Difficult to avoid a virtual meeting these days. So let's add a webcam cover! Keep your privacy safe from accidental viewers while you are preparing to join the meeting.

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are typically green and used in most electronics. Here HackerBoxes is showing how PCBs can be artistic as well. The black 6" PCB ruler has the HackerBoxes copper logo on one side, and 19 SMD footprints along with trace widths on the other side. Super handy to have around and satisfying to look at.

Next up is the USB Data Blocker! Great to prevent someone taking data off or putting unwanted files onto your USB charging devices. Watch Heal's walk-through video to show you how it works.

Last, and far from least, the Lily GO USB keyboard impersonating stick. Lily GO can be used as a GoodUSB or a BadUSB (for pen-testing only Tyros!). Heal shows you how to flash the micro-controller on the Lily GO to send friendly messages, or play harmless pranks on those who love you. Or at a minimum is patient with your shenanigans. Such as Heal rick-rolling his kid. He's working on an Advanced video to step through how the Arduino sketches work so you can make your own.

Be sure to pick up your Byte Size Box 0001 to join the fun or subscribe monthly so not to miss any boxes while saving some cash.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Pulling in the same direction with HackerBoxes

For some time now, I've been talking to like-minded information security folks about how we have the same objectives when it comes to security awareness training and youth education. The unfortunate truth is we haven't made much progress collaborating. People talk, they get excited, and then something else happens resulting in no follow up. Yeah, there might be some exceptions out there, but very few?

HackerBoxes and Hak4Kidz have entered into a mutual agreement to use each other's strengths and pull together in the same direction. HackerBoxes has figured out designing, curating, and distributing fun and challenging kits. Hak4Kidz is excels at educating kids on IT and Information Security.

The benefits of the partnership is for kids ages 10-110 to submerge themselves into an edutaining hands-on experience of the joy of receiving a monthly mystery HackerBox Byte Size and a walk-through video provided by Hak4Kidz. President of Hak4Kidz, David Schwartzberg, stated, "We are thrilled at the opportunity to expand our services to an underserved demographic over the Internet. The combined forces of HackerBoxes and Hak4Kidz will surely elevate the skills of youths and adults in electronics, cybersecurity, and ethical hacking."

The CEO of HackerBoxes commented, "After shipping our advanced monthly HackerBoxes to adult hobbyists for over six years, we are super excited to also offer Byte Size as a more focused, straight-forward monthly box for beginners of all ages."

While subscriptions for Byte Size are available today, May 15th is the anticipated first ship date of Byte Size with the walk-through video to be released a couple days later. Hak4Kidz is also offering a monthly or annual subscription of Advanced Hacks with the Byte Size box.

Educationally exciting times are ahead!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

A Difficult Decision

   As the title of this article states, the Board of Hak4Kidz NFP had to make a difficult decision today. With so much opening up in the Chicagoland area, people are still not getting out of the house as much as we were expecting by this time. How do we know? Our Milwaukee event registration is lower than expected, but a Wisconsin middle school purchased 30 tickets, so we will carry on.

   In our professional lives, one of us planned 3 different professional events on the same day and the turnout was less than desired. That was a big tell. Having a Hak4Kidz event on June 4th is reasonably close to those events mentioned above. So whether the concern is being in large crowds (understandably) or people don't want to put on outside clothes thus leaving the comfort of their home (understandably) , or both, the decision had to be made quickly.

   We are working on selecting a date in late summer or early fall for the next event. But, we want to hear from you first. Please complete this very simple Doodle poll before May 1st to let us know what works best for you. We will communicate the new schedule once the logistics of reserving the venue are finalized.

   Anyone who purchased a ticket will have the option of deferring their ticket for the new date, or a full refund. Once the new date is determined we will notify via social media and an article. We will honor the decision up to two weeks prior to the new date.

   Thank you very much for your community support and we are planning to make the next Chicago event bigger and better than ever!


Hak4Kidz Team

Hak4Kidz is back in Milwaukee...and more!

Hak4Kidz is excited to be returning to Milwaukee in partnership with our friends at CypherCon and the Midwest Gaming Classic

We want folks to enjoy what Hak4Kidz and the Midwest Gaming Classic have to offer on Saturday, so we decided to reduce our hours to give participants more time for both. This year the Milwaukee Tyro badge will be the badge we created for 2019 and was our first Kickstarter. Tyros and 'Pones can each add-on a deeply discounts Saturday afternoon and evening only pass! This is a great opportunity for Hak4Kidz fans to experience some fun gaming time at the MGC.

When: April 30, 2022, 8:30am doors open, Opening Ceremonies begin 9am, day ends at 12pm CDT
Where: Hilton Milwaukee in Wright Ballroom A, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI
Registration: ** OPEN **
Registration ends: ** April 29th, 2022 **
Activities: ** Hak4Kidz Milwaukee 2022 Activities are available

Thank you CypherCon and Midwest Gaming Classic for the space!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

New Year Message from Hak4Kidz

With the holiday season behind us and the new year having begun, some of us may already be reflecting on what to accomplish over the next twelve months. Such as, how to make a difference in a community or what personal outcomes you are striving for. Whatever it may be, you are going to do something amazing!

We hope during the holidays you were able to reconnect with the people you love and are important in your life. Took a break from the electronic devices and did something like playing a board game. My family enjoys playing Settlers of Catan and Star Munchkin.

With 2021 in the rearview mirror, the Hak4Kidz Board of Directors at the end of December to review 2021, plan for 2022, and beyond. Without going into deep detail and long written prose, here are the highlights and exciting news:

  • in person events will resume in 2022, as along as it's safe to bring Tyros together.
  • in person events will be following the safety guidelines and vaccination policies of both the local government, venue, and partnering organization.
  • current date for Hak4Kidz in Milwaukee in partnership with CypherCon is scheduled for Saturday April 30th. Exact location is still be finalized. Ticket sales will open up at the end of January.
  • the flagship Chicago event is scheduled for Saturday June 4th. Location is tentatively the new Cisco office on 433 West Van Buren Street in downtown Chicago. Ticket sales will open up at the end of January.
  • other in person events need to be confirmed such as at GrrCON, BloomCon, and BSides KC. Stay tuned for more details.
  • BSides Toronto has confirmed that they will most likely not be in person for 2022. 
  • Heal has been working on some digital projects that will be for sale at Def Con 30 or at partner events. For example, check out the prototype video of this phaser pin and #badgelife badge add-on!
  • our new blog site has launched! You already knew that. This blog will be a resource for education and news. We are looking for technical writers so please DM our Twitter account if interested.
  • and most exciting of all, Jeffrey Man joined the Hak4Kidz Board to support our initiatives involving diversity, equity, and inclusion.

There is more going on which we are eager to share, so keep checking the Hak4Kidz website and blog for news.

Thanks again for participating at and believing in Hak4Kidz. 2021 was an interesting year for everyone, so we are planning to make 2022 a much better one!

Happy New Year,
The Hak4Kidz Team

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Recorded Webinar: Making Cybersecurity Fun For Kids!


To view the recording:
Developing Cyber Talent Series 1: Making Cybersecurity Fun for Kids! – Crowdcast

Hak4Kidz's very own Robert Wagner, Board of Directors member since 2014, was a guest speaker on the webinar Making Cybersecurity Fun For Kids! This is a great honor to be on a panel with the esteemed co-panelists John D. Johnson, Ph.D., Somchai Rice, Ph.D. and Kate Kuehn. 

When asked about providing advice to reduce the InfoSec employment gap, Wagner responded "Making InfoSec fun is a great strategy for encouraging the next generation of InfoSec practitioners." Which is great advice for every age. Wagner continued with additional advice, "Hear what security leaders are doing today to make this possible."

From the Docent Institute's website, "This interactive webinar is designed for educators and professionals who want to learn from cybersecurity professionals who have developed engaging STEM events to get kids excited about cybersecurity as a possible career. The panelists will share examples of successful events and activities that they have led with K-12 students for over a decade, many of which you can duplicate in your own community.

Students often have no idea or misconceptions about careers in the cybersecurity field. By engaging with professionals and STEM educators, they learn that the field is broad and inclusive and that regardless of their background, there are opportunities to have a career that is exciting and rewarding. Through activities such as coding, cryptography, electronics, lock picking, and competitions, students have fun and learn that they can be a white hat hacker, using their skills to benefit society.

The panel includes founders and organizers from DEFCON R00tz Asylum, CornCon Kids, and Hak4Kidz.

Dr. John D. Johnson, Founder/President, Docent Institute (CornCon Kids, DEFCON R00tz Asylum)

Dr. Somchai Rice, Co-Founder/CISO, MedBlox (CornCon Kids)

Robert Wagner, Security Executive Advisor, Splunk (Hak4Kidz)

This webinar series is organized by vArmour and hosted by Docent Institute. Docent is a tax-deductible educational non-profit. Donations are used to host educational events, professional development, public outreach and for educational scholarships. Learn more about our mission at"

Hak4Kidz 2022 Chicago Event Will Be In-person!

  We are thrilled to announce that Hak4Kidz Chicago events are returning to meeting in-person! Scheduled on Saturday, September 17, 2022 in...