While Microsoft and Facebook admitted to disrupting North Korean hacking operations, announcements made shortly after the White House blamed WannaCry on North Korea, and there are\u00a0endless reports of IoT devices with shoddy or sketchy security, such as the spying Bluetooth LED bedside lamp Yeelight or the remote root in DirecTV\u2019s wireless video bridge\u00a0\u2014 I thought we could look at something silly instead: an odd type of security system.During the holiday season, some people are overcome with a peace-on-Earth and goodwill-to-mankind mentality,\u00a0but not everyone because the holidays are also a busy time for criminals \u2014\u00a0and that means there are plenty of victims. When it comes to non-online crime, there are sons of Grinches stealing toys meant for tots and outdoor holiday decorations and displays, but others focus on outdoor heists that involve snatching packages delivered to homes.Back in the day, before the term hacker started to imply malicious, a hacker was someone who tinkered with and tweaked gadgets \u2014 who thought outside the box. Well, in this case, using the old-school definition, a \u201chacker\u201d thought outside the box but tinkered with a gadget inside a box in order to put a stop to \u201cporch pirates\u201d \u2014\u00a0or people who steal packages that have been delivered but not yet taken to indoor safety.In Jaireme Barrow\u2019s case, it wasn\u2019t a matter of thieves stealing would-be holiday gifts that had been delivered to his home; instead, thieves were making off with Jeep parts and electronics that had been delivered while he was at work.\u201cI got tired of all my packages coming up missing,\u201d Barrow told Q13 Fox. \u201cI\u2019d be at work, and I\u2019d get home and they wouldn\u2019t be on my front porch. And I\u2019d watch my surveillance and see someone running away with them.\u201dHe reportedly showed the surveillance footage to local Tacoma, Washington, police, but no one was ever arrested. So, to quote Dr. Seuss, \u201cThen he got an idea! An awful idea!\u201d Barrow \u201cgot a wonderful, awful idea!\u201dHe told The Washington Post, \u201cI was thinking, how could I scare them and make them drop my package and then never come to my front porch again. And I thought, \u2018Getting shot at is scary. That\u2019ll make them think twice.\u2019\u201dBoxes booby-trapped with shotgun blankYeppers, he started booby-trapping empty boxes with fishing string and a 12-gauge shotgun blank that would go off when thieves picked up the package he left on his porch. Barrow likened it to \u201cany alarm system. It\u2019s just a loud noise to deter theft. It just happened to be a 12-gauge blank in this case.\u201dIt worked so well that he now sells The Blank Box online, showing its effectiveness via videos of would-be package thieves screaming, falling off the porch and running away. I\u2019ll leave it to you to decide if it is mean or funny. He gave a couple of examples to the Washington Post: \u201cThe very first guy I did it to, he was so scared he dropped his cellphone in my front yard. I gave it to the cops. Turns out, he lived, like, three blocks away from me.\u201d The would-be thief was not charged.As another example, Barrow said, \u201cOne girl, she screamed so loud \u2014 it was instant karma. Someone is trying to commit a crime, and you\u2019re able to get back at them instantly. It\u2019s a satisfaction I can\u2019t describe.\u201dA word to the wise though, a Tacoma police spokesperson suggested the device might be illegal or the thieves might sue if they get hurt, for example, by falling off the porch stairs after the fright of picking up a package and hearing a shotgun blast. Barrow suggested posting a no trespassing sign, as well as a note, that tells people not to take packages from the porch as a way to negate any potential lawsuits, but that\u2019s up to you if believe that to be true.Lastly, just a reminder: If you have some spare time during this holiday season, consider taking on the 2017 SANS Holiday Hack Challenge. This year it is centered around \u201cWintered: The Untold Story of the Elves of the North Pole.\u201dHappily holidays to you and yours!