Most people's favorite time of the year is right around the corner: Christmas! I know, from personal experience, how hard it can be to find Christmas Presents for Hackers, especially if you are not a Hacker yourself. Because nowadays my own Christmas presents mostly consist of socks, kitchen goods or alcohol (Damn Mom, I told you I want to stop drinking!), I thought it would be a great idea to put a list together with things I would be happy to get as a Christmas present! And who knows? Maybe Santa himself will read this article and throws a fully specced-out MacBook Pro into my chimney!
Alright, all jokes aside, let's look at some Holiday Gifts for Hackers!
Side-note: All Christmas Presents for Hackers can also be found in the Ceos3c Amazon Store.
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Table of Contents
- The Gift of Knowledge
- Hacking Stickers
- Wireless Network Adapter for WiFi Hacking
- Security Gear
- Raspberry Pi's
- Hacker Apparel
- If money doesn't play a role - or - Hacking Laptops
- A Hack The Box Gift Card
- Conclusion for the Best Christmas Presents for Hackers
The Gift of Knowledge
Ahh, what better gift would there be for the knowledge-hungry Hacker than a good book? Now, I won't make this another Hacking Books list, because it already exists, I will just leave books here which I think are a great present for beginners and advanced hackers alike! Feel free to read the full Hacking Books article if you wish for more information on a particular book.
The Hacker Playbook 2: Practical Guide To Penetration Testing
by Peter Kim
If I would have to choose one single Hacking Book to get started, this would be it. It makes a great Christmas Present for Hackers if they are a beginner or already advanced, there is something to learn in this book for everyone!
Kali Linux Revealed
by Offsec Press
Every Hacker probably starts his journey with Kali Linux. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how Kali Linux works. The Kali Linux Revealed book will teach you exactly this. It would be a great combination together with The Hacker Playbook 2 for a Holiday Gift for Hackers. Beware: The book on its own will not teach you hacking! It teaches you how to use Kali Linux, the Hacker's #1 choice when it comes to Hacking Linux Distributions
Ghost in the Wires
by Kevin Mitnick
If you want to get someone hyped-up about Hacking, this is the book! This is not a book to learn hacking, it's the biography of one of the world's most famous Hackers, Kevin Mitnick. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it sparked new motivation for me right when I needed it. I highly recommend this as a Holiday Gift for Hackers!
If you have ever seen a Hacker, you probably have noticed an ungodly amount of stickers on his or her laptop. This is because Hackers love stickers! There is only a limited amount of stickers available on Amazon, but they do have a few nice packs.
Honch's Hacker Sticker Pack 50 Pieces
This set of 50 stickers is a real bargain for the $6.99 price tag! Your Hacker friend will surely be happy with this gift.
Zayali Dev Sticker Pack 100 Pieces
100 Stickers for just $7.59 is something you can't go wrong with. There will be at least one sticker that your friend will like. I definitely would put some of them on my own laptop, I especially like the one that says "Your ports were open... so I invited myself".
Every Hacker needs to use a VPN or at least should use a VPN. Giving a VPN subscription as Christmas Gift for Hackers? I say: Why not! I have compared VPN providers in the past and to this day Nord VPN remains my favorite provider.
They offer possibly the most servers out there and I never had any issue with them. On top of that, they have a really competitive price tag. If you sign up with my Special Offer, you don't only get 70% off their 3 Year Plan but also 4 months for free! How cool is that?
Wireless Network Adapter for WiFi Hacking
Almost every Hacker is dabbling with WiFi Hacking. If they say they don't, they probably are using your WiFi. You can be sure your Hacker friend will be happy when you gift him or her a WiFi antenna capable of Monitor Mode. I show you two of my favorite devices. If you want to see the whole list of recommended WiFi adapters for Hacking, check out the full article.
A Hacker's favorite. Alfa produces by far the most popular Hacking antennas out there. This is a solid one. It has a transmitting power of 28dbm and supports modern WiFi standards. It is only a 2.4GhZ antenna, so you are not capable of capturing 5GhZ traffic. A great and very sturdy beginner WiFi adapter nevertheless! I use this in my kit for several years.
If you want something beefier, you might want to opt for the dual-antenna Alfa Awus036ACH. This beast supports USB 3.0, [email protected], and [email protected] and supports all the newest WiFi standards. If you really want to make your Hacker friend happy, this might be one of the best Christmas Presents for Hackers available.
Your Hacker friend probably has a secret or two. He also probably wants to keep that secret safe. This is where Security Gear comes into play. Security Gear makes for a great Christmas Gift for Hackers.
Fingerprint Encrypted USB Flash Drive
This thing is great! I personally use an Encrypted USB Flash Drive to store my password database and a couple of other files I need to keep with me but also want them secured. This Encrypted USB Flash Drive unlocks automatically soon as you put your finger on it, revealing its hidden encrypted drive. I would definitely be happy to receive a gift like this!
Every Hacker loves Raspberry Pi's, it's the perfect gift to play around with and try your hands on Linux (or use them as a backdoor like in Mr. Robot).
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Quad Core
The classic, bare version of the Raspberry Pi without any case. Mostly enough for the curious Hacker. You can opt for the 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB version, I recommend going for the 4GB version, so your Hacker friend is able to run Kali Linux on it!
Vilros Raspberry Pi 4 Complete Kit
This is a complete kit, including a Quick Start Guide, 32GB Micro SD Card, the 4GB version of the Raspberry Pi 4, HDMI cable, a case, and even a fan! I personally opted for this set and I have been very happy with it. I especially liked the included on/off switch that comes with it.
That's a great deal for the price.
Hackers usually love entertainment that revolves around their favorite activities. There are two things we are going to cover: Video Games and Movies / TV Series! I share my own favorites with you.
I can't even put in words how much I love this movie. And I probably shouldn't tell you how many times I have seen it, either. I remember it very vividly, back in 1995 when I watched this movie for the first time. This was the sole reason I started to become interested in Hacking and have been ever since watching it. It literally sparked the flame for my interest in Hacking.
That being said, there is no Hacker out there who doesn't love this movie.
This is by far the best and most realistic depiction of what a Hacker's life might look like. It's an awesome series telling the story about Elliot Anderson, a schizophrenic Black Hat Hacker who tries to spark a financial revolution. There are currently all 4 seasons out to watch on Amazon Prime. So you would probably have to gift Amazon Prime to your friend so he will be able to watch it.
There are only two Hacking Video Games I have played and I really enjoyed both of them. I think both of them are worth-wile and deserve to be added to our Best Christmas Presents for Hackers list!
This game, available on Steam, was released originally in 2006, so it's more of a classic. You are an Uplink agent whose job it is to hack into rival computer systems for major corporations, you're a professional Hacker!
This game does not teach you any realistic hacking syntax, it's just pure fun. I enjoyed it!
This game, on the other hand, does teach you real Hacking syntax and methodology! Hacknet is a terminal-based hacking simulator. You found the instructions of a recently deceased Hacker and your mission is to clear up the cause of his death, which has been called an "accident" by the media.
This is a really fun game! And you actually learn something too, Hacknet uses REAL UNIX commands, so you learn some Linux syntax. Also, some of the Hacking techniques are real or at least close to reality. I had a blast playing this. The overwhelmingly positive ratings on Steam also confirm the legitimacy of the game. One awesome game to add to the list of our Best Christmas Presents for Hackers!
There are some Hackers that like to show flags. Unfortunately, most of the apparel out there is pretty much the opposite of what we would like to represent. For me, I like minimalism and maybe some very subtle Hacking art in my apparel. That is why I created my own. I actually created a Hacker Store on Teespring that is featured on my YouTube Channel a while ago.
I create some subtle Hacker apparel over there, also some stickers, and so on. Feel free to check it out! I am wearing the very Hacking Hoody you see in the picture below. Their premium line-up is really high-quality and feels very good to wear, making it the perfect Christmas present for Hackers.
If money doesn't play a role - or - Hacking Laptops
If you really, I mean really, make your Hacker friend a special gift, gift him a Hacking Laptop. Of course, those come at a price tag, but I'll give you some options. I only add models here that have been tested in the field (partly by myself) and are actually used by fellow Security Experts.
Macbook Air M1 Base Model 2020
The Macbook Air M1 has been coined as THE Laptop when it comes to keeping the budget low but wanting all the performance. This thing outperforms most other laptops in that price range thanks to its new M1 processor architecture.
If you can put together 1000$, this is the best laptop you can get for the price, period.
If you don't trust me on that one, simply search for Macbook Air M1 on YouTube - they'll convince you.
MacBook Pro 16-Inch M1 2021 / 16GB RAM / 1TB
Even I am not a proponent of Apple products, you will see MacBook users at every Hacking conference, ever.
This is the newest flagship model that comes with a huge screen AND the option of the brand-new M1 Pro and M1 Max Chipsets, making it the fastest Macbook ever made.
If you can carve out some serious coin, this is the laptop I would choose for.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon / 14" / i7-10510U / 16GB RAM / 1TB SSD
I admit it. I am a Lenovo fanboy. I use Lenovo both privately and professionally for years and I was always satisfied with their products. This Ultrabook is a perfect fit for a Hacker. It is light, it is fast and it has an industrial look. What more do you want? The screen size of 14" is also perfect for me. I owned several Carbon's over the years and I have always been satisfied with them. They are durable like hell as well.
The biggest upside on those is, you can usually pick up an older version refurbished for very little money. I bought several refurbished ones and they always looked new and performed very well. You can save a ton of $ here. Just browse through Amazon's warehouse or Amazon's official refurb service.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 / 13.5" / 11th Gen i7 / 16GB RAM / 512 GB SSD
I've been using a Surface Laptop 2 with 8GB Ram and 256GB SSD for the past two years almost on a daily basis and it has been my favorite laptop I ever owned so far. It's a solid machine both for content creation and hacking (as well as Web Development!).
I love the build quality and the feel of it, it's the closest to a Macbook I've seen so far.
It actually went we me to Thailand for 5 weeks, where I participated in an intensive Yoga Teacher Training (yes, you read that right, I can not only take over your computer but I also can teach you, Yoga classes, lol!).
It proved itself to be a very reliable device, sitting outside with me on the balcony in a humid 33° celsius, working flawlessly and not overheating even with intensive tasks. The fans are also very good, barely noticeable even under full speed. I also run Kali as a VM on it, allocating half of the 8GB RAM to it, and both systems were still working fine, considering the price tag of the laptop!
That being said, this is a great budget option, especially now as they are emptying their stock. It also is a great addition to our Best Christmas Presents for Hackers list.
By the way, I obviously chose the Matte Black version.
A Hack The Box Gift Card
Hack The Box is by far my favorite place to practice CTF's. You can sign up for free and use a limited amount of machines for free, but they also do offer premium. With premium, you have better bandwidth and access to retired machines as well as other goodies.
I think they provide the best place to find the best CTF's according to your skill level. All of the boxes have user ratings regarding quality and difficulty, ranging from "Very Easy" to "Brainf***".
Just today they announced that they now offer Hack The Box Gift Cards, which certainly makes a valuable addition to this guide.
In case you have trouble getting through the invitation process of Hack The Box, I got you covered.
Conclusion for the Best Christmas Presents for Hackers
Oh dear, this list got a lot longer than I had intended it to be. But on the other hand, this should cover a lot of options, even some for the smallest budget. Being a Hacker myself, all of those presents would make me happy. Even the stickers! So be sure, whatever holiday gift you chose, your friend or family member will be happy and enjoy it! Don't forget, you find the compiled list of all gifts right in the Ceos3c Amazon Store.
If you want to point your Hacker friend in the right direction after gifting him or her some Hacking gear, I recommend sending him the huge Getting started with Cybersecurity guide that I have put together, completely free!
Now, if you really enjoyed that article and you feel that I also deserve a Christmas gift, I invite you to join the Patreon family! Nothing would make me happier than having you on board!