HomeNewsArticle Display

Rise of the cyber wingman

U.S. Air Force photo illustration.

Cyberspace adversaries attack Department of Defense computer networks every day, and Air Force officials have a goal of protecting networks from attack. In August, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz outlined steps the Air Force is taking to centralize this mission. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Every day, malicious code, worms, botnets and hooks attack Air Force computers hardware, software and the Internet. They infiltrate classified information and compromise national security. In response, Air Force officials are stepping up their mission to defend cyberspace.

Mission success is the goal of protecting networks from attack. In August, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz outlined steps Air Force officials are taking to centralize this mission. He said that those steps are just the beginning.

"To make significant progress we must also change the way we think about the cyberspace domain," General Schwartz wrote to Air Force members in a service-wide e-mail.

Cyberspace adversaries attack Department of Defense computer networks every day. They range from individual hackers, criminal organizations and terrorists to nation states. Though they aren't successful the majority of the time, they have stolen classified information from networks and computers, including future weapon systems, logistics information and Airmen's personal information.

The most common way of getting information is phishing. This attack targets the weakest link in network security: the user. It involves sending e-mails containing attachments and linked Web sites that appear legitimate. Phishing tricks Airmen into downloading malicious code which provides a door into that network or computer from remote locations. Phishing happens at work or home.

"Applying our wingmen culture in the cyberspace domain gives us a powerful advantage; every Airman is a defender in cyberspace," said Gen. C. Robert "Bob" Kehler, the commander of Air Force Space Command.

The activation of 24th Air Force Aug. 18 helped define Air Force requirements and establish training standards for cyber warriors. The next step is to educate every Airman about the cyber wingman campaign.

"We must all conduct ourselves as 'Cyber Wingmen,' recognizing that our actions and activities on the network affect every other Airman and impact our ability to execute the broader Air Force mission," General Schwartz said.

The "Rise of the Cyber Wingman" philosophy incorporates the following 10 guiding principles every Airman needs to know and use to secure cyberspace.

1. The United States is vulnerable to cyberspace attacks by relentless adversaries attempting to infiltrate our networks -- at work and at home -- millions of times a day, 24/7.
2. Our adversaries plant malicious code, worms, botnets and hooks in common Web sites, software and in hardware such as thumbdrives, printers, etc.
3. Once implanted, this code begins to distort, destroy and manipulate information, or it "phones" it home. Certain code allows our adversaries to obtain higher levels of credentials to access highly sensitive information.
4. The adversary attacks your computers at work and at home knowing you communicate with the Air Force network by e-mail or by transferring information from one system to another.
5. As cyber wingmen, you have a critical role in defending your networks, your information, your security, your teammates and your country.
6. You significantly decrease our adversaries' access to our networks, critical Air Force information, and even your personal identity, by taking simple action.
7. Do not open attachments or click on links unless the email is digitally signed, or you can directly verify the source, even if it appears to be from someone you know.
8. Do not connect any hardware or download any software, applications, music or information onto Air Force networks without approval.
9. Encrypt sensitive but unclassified and/or mission critical information. Ask your computer security administrator, or CSA, for more information.
10. Install the free Department of Defense anti-virus software on your home computer. Your CSA can provide you with your free copy.

"By embracing, understanding and applying each of these rules, we will deliver on our promise to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace," General Schwartz said.

Engage

Twitter
.@WrightPattAFB's Junior Force Warfighter Operations in the @AFResearchLab teamed w/ explosive ordnance disposal pe… https://t.co/46abaDMVst
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Great trip to Maxwell and Gunter Annex ... spent time with our future 1st Sgts, Group Chiefs, Group & Wing Commanders a…
Twitter
.@LittleRock_AFB participated in an exercise to enhance agile combat employment capes in the @PACAF area of respons… https://t.co/XAPhVplYAG
Twitter
Today marks the 79th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, when Airmen led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, carried the… https://t.co/N1RHzBo88I
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: #ICYMI a U.S Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircrew refueled French Navy Rafales with support of Belgian F-16's. We're keeping…
Twitter
The Jolly Green II’s developmental test mission will move to the Combat Search and Rescue Combined Test Force for f… https://t.co/los9uwJjqN
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Grateful to visit another Wing and Group Commander’s Course near @MaxwellAFB this week. The time spent with these leaders…
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Reserve recruiter uses #TotalForce idea sharing to get big results on social media #ReserveReady #ReserveRecruits #TFI ht…
Twitter
“A modern #AirForce requires us to process and share data faster than a competitor, and that's what the Advanced Ba… https://t.co/j9Kxt62j6V
Twitter
Another great week of #AirPower in action! Which Week in Photos is your favorite and why? Check out the rest here:… https://t.co/qksLpIb7WR
Twitter
“Together we have been able to reinforce our strong partnership with the #AirForce by going out and visiting these… https://t.co/SfZNCwryKb
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Where do I sign up, TSgt Munoz Case? I’m ready to change the world with you! #bettertogether https://t.co/6BLHH5GZKB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “We, the @USAirForce & @SpaceForceDoD, have a terrific story to tell...meeting #Airmen & #Guardians to see where they li…
Twitter
“This award reflects the wing’s culture of critical self-assessment and significant investment in full-spectrum rea… https://t.co/csZpCTa8tH
Twitter
Service members assigned to Andersen Air Force Base and @USMC Base @MCBcampblaz have partnered with the @StateDepthttps://t.co/FSMB2xGuXU
Twitter
Beginning April 19th, the @DeptofDefense will make COVID-19 Vaccine appointments available to all who are authorize… https://t.co/7bofo3TmnQ
Twitter
The @DeptofDefense’s desired outcome for the Arctic is a secure and stable region. @HQAirUniversity is seeking jour… https://t.co/fyflQtyHtj
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Collecting, processing & sharing data faster than a competitor provides a decisive advantage. The Advanced Battle Manage…
Twitter
Purple Up! Today, everyone is encouraged to wear purple to show support for military children who overcome so many… https://t.co/ibXSWprtai
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,342,757
Follow Us