Last updated at Wed, 13 Dec 2023 23:48:12 GMT

It’s that time of year again, when the sky is streaked with ghosts and ghouls, the streets are aglow with menacing jack-o'-lantern grins, and penetration testers aren’t the only ones wearing costumes and pulling off tricks to get some treats.

Dressing up for Halloween is the perfect way to show off your love for your profession, whether you’re stuck with trick-or-treater door duty, traipsing around your neighborhood in pursuit of candy, attending a local party, or competing for first prize in your office’s annual costume contest.

Stuck on what to be this year? Here are some of our favorite Halloween costume ideas:

1. Ransomware

This idea comes courtesy of Maaya Alagappan, our social media specialist, who rocked this costume with her friends a few years ago. All you need to pull this off is a striped black-and-white shirt, a black hat and pants, and a data-related ransom note that hangs from your neck with string. Finally, a good excuse to cut up and get rid of all those unread magazines hanging around your house!

2. Patch Tuesday

Give a shout-out to Microsoft’s monthly patch releases by writing “Tuesday” on the front of a T-shirt, then affixing a couple of cloth patches to a pair of pants or a skirt with safety pins. If “sewing skills” is also listed on your resume, go all out by sewing together an entire pair of pants or skirt made up of multicolored patches.

3. A phishing or whaling attack

No one likes seeing these roll into their inbox, but you’ll get some chuckles if you roll into your office party dressed as a fisherman with an envelope labeled “Email” at the end of your fishing rod. Make it a whaling attack by having the email sit in the mouth of a stuffed whale and writing an urgent message asking a higher-up to divulge sensitive information. Think of this as another creative way to provide phishing awareness training to your fellow employees!

4. A job-stealing robot

Here at Rapid7, we don’t ascribe to the notion that security automation steals jobs—rather, it takes over repetitive manual tasks and frees you up to focus on more strategic initiatives. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spend Halloween eliciting laughs—and groans—from your fellow tech professionals as a robotic robber. Craft a square robot head out of a cardboard box, wear a classic black-and-white-striped burglar shirt, and carry around a burlap sack labeled, “Your Job.” It’s also a great way to smuggle candy out of the party. Just sayin’.

5. A strong password

Password management can be a circus, so dress up as as a strongman with a red-and-white-striped tank top and black shorts or pants. Write “Password” on the front of your shirt, and include some combination of letters, numbers, and special characters on the back, as long as you make sure it’s not one of your own passwords. Complete the look by wearing inflatable arm muscles underneath your shirt, drawing muscles onto your arms with marker or eyeliner, or by showing off your actual muscles (congratulations).

6. EternalBlue

This costume provides never-ending fun and very little preparation—simply sport an all-blue Zentai suit and wear a nametag labeled, “Eternal.” A big thanks to Security Consultant Aaron Herndon for this costume idea!

This security vulnerability may be complex, but dressing up as its logo is as simple as it gets. Throw a sheet over your head, grab a stick from the woods, and voila, you’re done! This brilliant idea came from Senior Software Engineer Matthew Kienow.

Honorable mention: Have dogs? Senior Security Researcher Brendan Watters suggests decking them out with iron-on shirts with the Wireshark logo so they can be—wait for it—packet sniffers.