Director of Information Technology
2LT. Tim Richardson
Domain Name System
The Domain Name System is the system used on the Internet for the mapping of names, such as ilwg.cap.gov, to IP Addresses such as 184.108.40.206. Every time a new domain, like is registered, that domain is entered into one of the 13 Root Servers spread throughout the world and overseen by the organization called ICANN. Because your domain is in one of these servers, it can be reached and understood by the rest of the users on the Internet.
Some Domain Name System are DNS Servers run by Companies and Internet Service Providers (ISP). Every time you connect to a site, you are asking your ISP’s DNS Server to convert the hostname such as ilwg.cap.gov to a an ip address such as 220.127.116.11. If the ISP’s name server cannot be reached, then you will not be able to utilize the Internet using hostnames, but instead would have to use their IP Address equivalent. Instead of typing in ilwg.cap.gov into your browser you would have to enter 18.104.22.168
As we begin the new year of 2017 many units will begin setting up their activities. One of these activities that we look at in IT is Cyber Patriot.
What is CyberPatriot?
CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program. There are three main programs within CyberPatriot: the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, AFA CyberCamps and the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative. CyberPatriot was conceived by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition
At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services. Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.
In computing, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack where the attacker seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. This attack is to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host computer connected to the Internet. Denial of service is typically accomplished by flooding the targeted machine with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload the systems and prevent some or all legitimate requests from being acted on. It is analogous of a group of people crowding a door or gate to a shop or business, and not letting legitimate customers enter into the business, disrupting normal operations.
Beware of Ransomware! Ransomware is a quickly growing trend that could cost you hundreds of dollars. What is ransomware? Ransomware is malware that gives a hacker access to your computer. The hacker will then encrypt the contents of your hard drive which will deny you access to your own computer. Once infected there are only two ways to remediate the issue. 1. You can format your hard drive, lose all your data and reinstall all of your software from scratch, or, 2. you can pay the hacker the asking price to regain access to your computer.
CBS News has a great article on protecting yourself from Ransomware.
Properly Responding to Wing Emails ** Important **
Email is the primary method of communications from Wing Staff out to all Illinois Wing Airmen and Cadets therefore we use many mailing lists to ensure that the appropriate message is sent to the appropriate group of recipients. If you need to respond to the original sender it is important that you NOT simply REPLY to these types of emails because your response does NOT go back to the sender – rather it goes out to the entire mailing list which could be comprised of the entire Wing! When responding to emails that were sent to a mailing list or a specific group of users (i.e. Emergency Services, Cadet Council, etc.) please make sure that you REPLACE the name in the TO: field of your email to respond to the person. A reminder is included on the bottom of all such emails.
Email has become one of the most ubiquitous methods of communications. We use email for both business and pleasure, we get our emails on our computers and on our phones, and we depend on email to keep us in touch from anywhere in the world. It is for this very reason that email has become the most commonly used vector for committing cyber crime. Make sure that you are practicing “Safe Email” by reading this great article from Tech Republic.
Standard Email Signature Block
National HQ has mandated a standardized email signature block. To present a professional and unified appearance and to promote CAP in an effective manner all CAP Email correspondence (even from your personal email address) should reflect the following guidance.
Viruses and Malware and You
Cyber Criminals are getting more innovative in getting access to your information for nefarious purposes. From convincing unsuspecting users to open infected email attachments, to embedding malware into websites that hijack your computer, without the right tools to defend your computer, you are extremely vulnerable. McAfee offers a great article on defending against Malware and Trojans.
I’m a MAC User, I am safe from viruses right?
Wrong! Read the following article and you may be surprised.
There will be a lot of upcoming changes affecting IT at all level of the Wing. Your IT Wing Staff is always available as a resource to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org –2 LT Richardson, Dir. of IT.