Cyber warriors demonstrate capabilities to industry partners

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jessica D'Ambrosio
  • 926th Wing Public Affairs
The 14th Test Squadron recently joined an assembly of commercial and government cyberspace professionals at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Cyberspace Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The squadron has attended the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s annual event for the past seven years, orienting fellow industry participants on its mission, as well as discussing and helping solve problems in the field.

“The cyberspace symposium is a great venue for the squadron to demonstrate vulnerabilities to military, U.S. government, and civilian professionals who work in the cyberspace domain,” said Lt. Col. Rob Jackson, 14th TS Commander.

“It gives us an opportunity to provide helpful suggestions on how to mitigate those threats.”

The event hosted 2,200 participants, with a wide range of government representatives from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice. It had 110 booths and featured 33 presenters who spoke on this year’s theme of managing risk.

“When we think of cyberspace threats, we typically focus on our Personal Computers and networks, but cyberspace threats exist everywhere in today’s electronic world,” said Jackson.

“Even something as simple as a radio frequency identification access card or a common power strip can be used for cyberspace exploitation.”

The 14th TS set up a Cyber Exploitation booth with live
demonstrations on radio-frequency identification skimming, hacking home Wi-Fi routers, setting up live malicious hotspots, and hacking into Windows 7 to take over control of a standard desktop.

“No longer can we be reactive to events in cyber; we have people on the ground who are being proactive and finding serious flaws in our systems,” said Maj. Andrew Heo, Regional Young AFCEA vice president.

“Having a unit like the 14th Test Squadron presenting real vulnerabilities and how they could potentially be hacked provide the attendees of the Cyberspace Symposium a behind-the-curtain look at how the Air Force assesses its space systems.”

The 14th TS is the only space test squadron in the Air Force Reserve, and an associate to the Regular Air Force’s 17th Test Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colorado. The unit provides cyberspace and space Operational Test & Evaluation expertise to the United States Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.