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THWACK Monthly Mission - May 2019

Community Manager

You've got everything locked down tight. Your servers are patched, your infrastructure is healthy, your users are happy, even your printers are full of paper. Everything’s as it should be.

Then, something changed. You don't know where, and you don't know what, you just know something’s wrong. Something new, something different, something unexpected has befallen your quiet life. It’s time to alter your outlook. You need to transform the way you defend your environment and yourself.


Use the mission’s resources to complete the tasks and answer the questions for a chance to win!

Correctly answer each question during the week and you'll be entered for a chance to win the weekly prize.

Correctly answer all 20 questions over the course of the month and you'll be entered for a chance to win the grand prize.

150 points are being awarded for each correctly answered question. There are 20 questions, which means you can earn a maximum of 3,000 points for this mission.

Want to join the mission, but not a member? Sign up FREE now!


A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on May 6, 2019. Once a question has opened, it will remain open until June 2, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.


Complete the mission shortcut between May 6, 2019 and June 2, 2019 to earn an additional 1,000 THWACK® points & enter to win an iPad!

IT infrastructure event logs can generate hundreds (if not thousands) of instances per second, making it difficult for even the most sophisticated search algorithms to keep pace. Your security posture is only as effective as your ability to search for words or phrases that may indicate suspicious or malicious activity. SolarWinds® Log & Event Manager is a tool designed to help IT and security professionals visualize cyberactivity search results that could be useful in identifying potential threats to on-premises IT infrastructure. Visualizing your search results can help make sense of log data and reduce your exposure to attacks and suspicious activity. Show us how frequently words appear in your log data using the Word Cloud in nDepth!


  1. Download a free trial of Log & Event Manager
  2. Navigate to Explore -> nDepth
    1. NOTE: The Ops Center may not be your default view when you log into the tool. If this is the case, select the LEM Console link in the upper right-hand corner of your view, and then proceed to step #3
  3. Select the Word Cloud icon from the ribbon below the main window
  4. Take a screenshot of the Word Cloud that is displayed.
  5. Submit screenshot HERE
Week 1: Complete questions 1-5 by May 12, 2019 to be entered to win: Transformers 5 Movie Blu-Ray Collection
Week 2: Complete questions 6-10 by May 19, 2019 to be entered to win: Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone
Week 3: Complete questions 11-15 by May 26, 2019 to be entered to win: Transformers: The Complete Series
Week 4: Complete questions 16-20 by June 2, 2019 to be entered to win: JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker

Correctly answer all 20 questions by June 2, 2019 and get entered to win the Grand Prize! Lenovo Chromebook 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

May Mission Terms & Conditions: US, UK, and Canada | Germany | Australia

May Mission Shortcut Terms & Conditions: US, UK, and Canada | Germany | Australia

Level 9

So the product wasn't renamed to 404? Because that would be some edgy branding.

Level 12

It's funny that after all that talk about "All In The Family" that last night they had a special on TV that was sort of a revival, different cast, of that show, "The Jefferson's" and not sure what else because I had to record it and haven't watched it yet.  

Level 11

Today's hint brought to you by Error 404!

Level 9

Look at the URL ...

Although Question 14's URL probably gives away the answer, the hint page is creative.


Level 7

The hint link for Question 13 (May 22) is broken - I believe it should be this:

Community Manager
Community Manager

Sorry for the delay in responding re: 404 error for today's hint link. Today was launch which means lots of redirects and changes happening this morning. The link is now live (and kudos to those of you who got the answer by looking at the URL ).

For anyone who is not showing question 10 has been completed, can you please reach out to me? We've identified the issue and I can hopefully help fix your question 10 status so you're included in Week 2's drawing.

Level 12

I still show question 10 as unanswered when I did. 

Level 9

Please help with the hint for Question 13. It shows the 404 error page. This does not have the answer in the URL.

Unless I'm missing it.

There is an answer if you look up the LEM but it does not match any of the answers of question 13.


Please HELP!!

Level 7
Level 14

Q13. yes there's a 404, but try taking a look at the SIEM Tools | SolarWinds page

Level 9

Question 13 links to a 404 page, clicking the "Report the Problem" opens up my email to send to ''.

When I send to that email, I got a reply back saying "Your message wasn't delivered because the recipient's email provider rejected it."

Community Manager
Community Manager

yerffej07​ They are aware but in the interim, here is the correct link: Compliance Reporting Tool - IT Compliance Monitoring | SolarWinds

This has been updated on the question.

That 404? It's just security by obfuscation.

I mean, props still for the amazing 404 page, SW peeps!

Level 9

It's a track suit

Level 10

Still no winner for last week?

Hi, geosca​.  My guess is that DanielleH​ is waiting to clear up the SNAFU that happened last Friday with question 10:

For anyone who is not showing question 10 has been completed, can you please reach out to me? We've identified the issue and I can hopefully help fix your question 10 status so you're included in Week 2's drawing.

Once they have corrected all the faulty questions, or at least all of those who want their faulty question corrected, I'm sure they will hold a drawing.


I think the Snafu is you have to click the blue Vote button, rather than clicking on the link in the hint.

Level 12

OOPS - careless me.  We are in the middle of a merger and I wasn't paying enough attention so I didn't read the hint close enough and got the dreaded "X".  And I really was hoping for the Chromebook since I am being pushed into early retirement (was planning on retiring after August 2020 anyway) in about 2 weeks (not to mention I have yet to win any prize at these missions even though I have learned a ton ).

Wow, pony10​, sorry to hear about the early retirement.  No fun, especially if you're not fully prepared.  I know what a difference 15 months can make (although with the markets bouncing like beach balls these days, it's tough to say).  I wish you the best and hope you enjoy your "third act"!

Level 12

Thank you asheppard970​  this will be the third bank merger I have gone through in my 41 year banking career and always on the "job losing" end.  I came on board with this bank 25 years ago, about 6 months after they opened the doors on the this branch as the first and only branch at the time.  I have helped build it to a major state institution and now we are selling to a larger regional bank. 

My family started planning and working towards my retirement about 10 years ago by paying off almost all of our debt and other important issues.  My severance package is 52 weeks plus they paid off my stock options so we are good financially for the next year.  The only issue we have is insurance.  We had already started looking at that because my wife is 2 years younger so we needed to insure her for a couple more years now we have to do 3 years for her and 1 for me before we can go on Medicare.

All in all we should be good and I have lots of projects I need to accomplish around the house.

Looks like Question 16 has more than one correct answer but the response is a radio button.

Can this please be changed to a checkbox (or one of the correct answers removed)?

That was a very quick fix - I probably should have just waited

Level 9


sneaky damn question and first wrong of the month

That's great to hear, pony10​!  I wish you the best.  I'm sure the "honeydew" list will grow as you go.

It seems like the norm these days is that bigger banks are gobbling up smaller ones, and at an alarming rate.  My wife and I had been banking with a local, home grown bank in Northern Colorado called Home State Bank.  Home State had been around since the sixties and my wife's folks had been some of their first customers.  It was nice that you could go in and folks recognized you, giving you a hearty "Good morning!" as you came through the doors.  Well, that came to an end about three and a half years ago when Guaranty bank gobbled up Home State.  Things got a little less "home townie" almost right away. 

Now, just 39 months after that merger and having gone through all the hassle of migrating accounts, getting new checks and all, we get a letter from Independent Bank saying...yep, you guessed it...Guaranty was getting gobbled up.  My wife and I said enough of this stuff and moved everything to Ally.  Yes, they're not a "brick & mortar" bank, at least not much around Colorado, but they're strong and stable and you know, we really don't need a branch office to go to anymore; and I think that's what banks are discovering.

I would hazard a guess that as the Silent generation passes away, the days of the brick & mortar establishments will be numbered.  The Boomers seem pretty savvy about online shopping/banking/etc. and Gens X/Y/Z/Millennials are 100% with it when it comes to online everything.  With Amazon contracting folks to be delivery drivers (I've already begun seeing it around our town on weekends and evenings) and with everything shipping 2-day or overnight for free, why bother getting out of your comfy pants to go to the store.  Even grocery stores have folks that do shopping for you and deliver your order to your house.  Are the days of "Wall-E" that far off?

Level 10

DanielleH I don't really understand why my May 27 response was incorrect? It specifically asks what installing File Integrity Monitoring Software allows the user to do. The hint leads to a page that lists also "Use File Integrity Monitoring tool to detect and alert on changes to key files, folders, and registry settings." This means that a users can also "Undo unauthorized Registry Changes" after that software provides him the information. The question does not ask what the software can do, but rather what it allows the user to do. So this response should be correct as well?

Level 8

Alang I agree, I answered the same way with the same logic as you!

Level 9

Got the same one wrong in the same way

I see where you're coming from, alang​, and I think this will be splitting a very fine hair.

The hint suggests that the File Integrity Monitoring module and, by extension, SEM itself do certain things for users. What you are saying is possible, yes, but the users must do that work manually.  Again, totally see where you're headed because yes, users CAN do what you're saying because the software provides the information but does the software do it for them?  Not sure how DanielleH​ will want to handle this.

Level 12

I almost made the same mistake, as the LEM system in its full scope can in fact undo changes that are made. But the FIM tool specifically, only detects the changes. The FIM tool cannot make any actual changes though. That is the domain of the Active Response tool, which can use information revealed by the FIM tool to undo changes.

Level 12

DanielleH Is the Thwack points allocation system broken again/still? I answered the two questions this week (and have done some other activities elsewhere) and noticed I have not received any points today. Thanks for checking!

Level 10

me three

Well i did answer correctly but do not believe the points were applied, so it's like getting it wrong.  No points either way.   The question today however was pretty explicit on asking what the program could do, not what it enables you to do.  They can not give every answer away as straightforward as yes or no, but the question seemed like UNdo portion was an automatic process which is not a capability at this time. 

Level 12

Still waiting for my question 10 to get fixed. 

Level 10

For some reason, I have not received any points after answering the questions for May 27 and 28 (yesterday and today) correctly, did this happen to anyone else?

Same for me.

DanielleH​ looks like there is a points issue.   nothing being awarded. 

Level 9

Definitely a tricky question for that day! Almost fell for it myself knowing how LEM/SEM work in general, however, it mentions what the FIM tool can do, not what LEM/SEM can do as a whole. Just keep that in mind!

Level 9

No points added for me either. 

Level 7

I would have to agree with this post. The FIM aspects of LEM/SEM can detect and alert you to any unauthorized changes, but the tool 8tself can't be used to undo any changes. That is where Active Response comes in to play.

Level 7

Just answered May 20th-28th and no points awarded :C

Level 12

I got my points....for 27th and 28th questions.

Level 12

Yea I feel for it also, but like it was mentioned before, FIM only detects the change........

Sucks I hate getting it wrong because of word play, but hey it happens and I learned something that I didnt know, which is what these missions try to accomplish.

Level 9

No points for 27th and 28th, however I did get points for today the 29th.

Community Manager
Community Manager

A case was opened for the non-issuance of points on the 27th and 28th. They found the issue and things are running as normal.

I just received the backlog of those who didn't receive points for either of these days and will be processing those manually this week.

Thanks for your patience!

Level 9

Question 19 needs fixing please


Level 10

I agree with raymondo

Community Manager
Community Manager

Sorry, very long day yesterday (but we're getting help SOON!). Question has been updated.

Level 9

I like the Monthly Missions, I look forward to the morning when I log in to answer the daily question.