DVIDS – News – The 33rd AFIN-SOC Networked War Squadron coordinates the SANS Holiday Hack-Fest; stimulates training and unit cohesion


SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Air Force Information Network Security Operations Center from the 33rd Network Warfare Squadron coordinated with SANS, a cyberspace industry training provider, for a free unit capture the Holiday Hacking Challenge of the Flag of the December 15-16, 2021 at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

The event served the cybernetic interests of the unit rather than the traditional unit entertainment days. The unit worked together on the challenge using their own laptops, personal hotspots, combined brain power, and the diverse experience of everyone in the unit.

US Air Force Staff Sgt. Austin Ellsworth, Department of Training instructor and senior threat hunter for the 33rd Network Warfare Squadron, 26th Cyberspace Operations Group was the event coordinator.

“Traditionally, other units have used mandatory entertainment days to host fun morale events, but as IT people we prefer cyber-related events,” Ellsworth said.

“With these types of challenges, we can compete with other squadrons and cyberprofessionals in the industry to build morale and esprit de corps. “

Ellsworth noted that capturing the flags doesn’t happen very often and that a lot of work is put into organizing them.

“We are very passionate about our work and it allows us to showcase our skills,” said Ellsworth. “It’s one of the best ways to challenge ourselves outside of confronting opponents. “

The SANS Holiday Hack Festival engages the global cybersecurity community in a festive cybersecurity challenge and year-round virtual conference. The SANS Holiday Hack Challenge is a free series of high-quality, hands-on cybersecurity challenges where participants learn new skills, help Santa defeat cybersecurity baddies, and save the entire holiday season from betrayal.

“The event tests us on the skills inherent in the job itself, from basic skills to the more complex ones like wifi sniffing and safety analysis,” said U.S. Air Staff Sgt. Strength. Colin Curry, content developer with the 33rd Network Warfare Squadron.

“It allows you to work on problem solving skills and challenges to improve ourselves. I like him because he teaches me m
more ways to break stuff and put it back together.

The 33rd Network Warfare Squadron, 26th Cyberspace Operations Group of the 688th Cyberspace Wing is the corporate defense of the Air Force’s information network and its mission is to protect, detect and respond to threats on the network 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The 33rd NWS performs real-time investigation and response to network / computer intrusions, hunting down threats, providing persistent and proactive defense and mission assurance of Air Force core missions.

“The SANS Flag Capture event offers a lot of really unique challenges to diversify our skills,” said US Air Force Lt. Col. Liam Weinfurtner, a cyberspace operator with 33 Network Warfare Squadron.

“Because there are a lot of different things that we maybe haven’t seen before or things that someone else here may know that someone else doesn’t know — we can. work together to try to solve these problems as a team. “

I think it cheered us all up, Weinfurtner added.

“Come together with this Christmas themed event and try to do something challenging but also a little more fun.”

Date taken: 16.12.2021
Date posted: 16.12.2021 18:07
Story ID: 411384
Site: SAN ANTONIO, Texas, United States

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