"Cybersecurity is the only IT field where you have a human adversary.  You need to think like that adversary"

-Dr. Mike 

About Sticker Heist

In the not-too-distant future, laptop stickers are the new global currency, and you've just gotten your hands on a safe full of them. The safe is locked for now, but its security system is no match for your team's hacking skills. Your mission: hack into the security system, disable the alarms, and pull off the heist of a lifetime... but you're already running short on time.

Can you pull off the Sticker Heist?

Sticker Heist is a self-contained portable security system protecting a locked box of laptop stickers. But the box is not 100% secure: several common security flaws and vulnerabilities have been built in. This allows teams of high school and college students to work together to gather information (reconnaissance) on the system, then use free open-source tools to expose and exploit the security flaws to access the system, open the box, and collect the prize. In this challenge, students work together as a team and think critically and creatively while learning the basics of cybersecurity.

Sticker Heist is a hands-on, minds-on game in which each team of students must solve multiple puzzles within a limited time in order to complete the shared quest of opening the locked box to retrieve the stickers; this quest is supported by an immersive story that locates the players in an alternate time and identity. This cybersecurity simulation game encourages teamwork, communication, and leadership as well as teaching curriculum-related skills and principles, increasing student engagement and promoting learning outcomes. It also helps to grow the future cybersecurity workforce by exposing people of all ages, educational backgrounds, and genders to cybersecurity as a career field. 

What Makes up Sticker Heist (ver 2*) 

Two boxes.  

In the scenario you learn and use hacking skills to disarm the alarm system, pick the lock and get the loot.

*New System in work for NSF Grant.  Single box.

Systems Box

Locked Systems Box

Open Systems Box


Alarm Set Off

Red Light and Alarm Buzzer

Systems Boxes Removed

Systems "Stack" removed.

Heart of the Systems

Stacked Arduino and Raspberry PI

Arduino Shield 

Wired to stack top

Top Attached

The stack goes into systems box, see above

About Dr. Mike

Dr. Mike, the developer of Sticker Heist, is a Professor of Computer Science & Information Technology at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.  He teaches and develops classes and labs on several topics:

More info here:  Dr. Mike

NSF Grant Award Announcement