For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Element Leader, Bravo Squadron, 4th Delta Wing, on October 4, 2013.
Airman Ridgeway’s element was conducting a routine patrolling mission through the financial system near FINRA’s primary servers when they discovered shellcode decrypting itself and probing a backdoor to the securities trading authentication subsystem. Upon finding indications of a botnet brewing, Airman Ridgeway led his anti-penetration specialists towards the nearby IP block. Upon arriving, he discovered a senior executive had been phished and was allowing infiltration of the system. The black hats quickly shifted their attention to Airman Ridgeway’s team. Remaining calm under attack, he ordered his element to reinforce the shielding on their own servers while he captured logs to transmit to command.
Undeterred by the black hats exploiting previously unknown zero day security vulnerabilities, but finding his position almost overrun Airman Ridgeway ordered his element to log out. With complete disregard for his own safety, Airman Ridgeway remained, ordering low orbiting ion cannon attacks on the botnet’s vulnerabilities, first danger close, and then finally upon his own position, destroying the botnet’s command and control in the process.
In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which his machine was forcibly reset, he saved at least three servers, a network attached storage device, and several firewalls.
By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Senior Airman Ridgeway gallanty gave his 37 open Chrome tabs for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Air Force.
Rank and Organization: Senior Airman, United States Air Force