CyberPatriot’s cyber tips #7
The Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps has a branch dedicated to cyber security. This group participates in a national cyber security program with competitions called CyberPatriot. Here are this month’s tips:
- There are many intrusive systems that can breach your system. For example, some of them may be Nmap or Metasploit. In order to prevent them from getting access to your computer, conduct accurate and careful scans and make sure your firewall is configured to protect against these external threats.
- Fun fact, AES 256 bit encryption is the most advanced encryption standard out there! It was developed in the 1990s by two computer scientists, and was previously known as Rijndael. It uses a 256 or 128 bit encryption method, with the common 128 version taking over 10.79 quintillion years, or greater than 700 million times the age of the universe, to crack! For comparison, a “simple” 56-bit DES standard can be cracked by a very (mind you, very) dedicated hacker in less than 24 hours.
- All communication using computers consists of “packets,” or chunks of data, traveling over a network. We can actually peer into these packets with a special and potent tool known as Wireshark. Wireshark is a “packet sniffer,” which means we can filter packets by protocol and other criteria, and look at the data being carried on various packets. If someone uses an insecure, unencrypted protocol (ie. Telnet), we can even get usernames and passwords from the TCP stream provided by Wireshark! Of course, given that this tool is so powerful, it should only be used in ethical ways. For example, you should only sniff packets from networks you have express permission to. Download it here: https://www.wireshark.org/download.html
- Always make sure your browser blocks pop ups or install an extension that does! Pop ups are the most common form of downloadable malware.
- Always back up your computer monthly to ensure you won’t lose all your progress and files.
Senior Nathan Min, commander; sophomore Veer Chopra, sergeant of SRHS CyberPatriot; and sophomore Delbert Tran, CyberPatriot NCO; are leading the CyberPatriot branch at SRHS AFJROTC.