An online security game, an Android device-based log-in system, an access control for personal health record systems and an open source-based cellular system.
These are research projects designed by Filipino students which are among the 15 finalists currently competing for the top three prizes in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Cup of Kaspersky Lab’s CyberSecurity for the Next Generation 2014.
This year’s regional competition, which is expected to be attended by the company’s founder Eugene Kaspersky, is being held from March 12-13 at the University of Korea in Seoul, South Korea.
All four research papers are authored by Computer Science students from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
Teammates Adelen Victoria Festin, Camille Salazar and Flor Marie Carmeli Sison submitted two qualified research papers.
One of their papers is about SecuriThief, an alternative tool to teach children online security in the form of a computer game using true-to-life simulations. “We believe that through gaming, children will be able to learn faster and in a more efficient way because of its fun factor and its personal approach to things,” Festin and her group said.
Their second paper introduced Communect, a low-cost, easy-to-deploy, alternative and secure open source-based (OpenBTS) communication system where mobile phone users can connect to make calls and send messages particularly in areas that do not have access to conventional mobile networks or areas with damaged telecommunication systems.
The group said Communect can also be used for community development such as organization of disaster risk management activities and centralization of information dissemination.
The group of Dan Antonio Reyes, John Smith Paraggua and Ray Torres presented Binary Login using Android Device or what they call BLADE System, an easy-to-deploy solution using a two-factor authentication system.
BLADE requires the use of an Android device as a security token on top of the typical username-password security scheme for a person to successfully log-in and prevent security attacks on his online account.
The fourth paper from the Philippines is solely-authored by 26-year-old Rose Ann Sale-Zuniga, who is taking up her master’s degree in Computer Science.
Zuniga is proposing a usable, secure and dynamic design for a task-role-based access control for Personal Health Record (PHR) systems. A PHR is a health record that a patient owns and manages.
“What it does is it limits a user’s access to the system based on the task assigned to him, while tasks are based on his role. For example, a person with role of a nurse should not be able to access sensitive medical information unless he is authorized. He can only access a patient’s medication list if, say, a doctor gives him the task to print it. After printing the list, the task ends and he should not be able to access it again unless another task gives him that privilege,” Zuniga explained.
The three groups are under the advisory of Dr. Susan Pancho-Festin, founder of UP Diliman’s Computer Security Group, one of the research groups of the Department of Computer Science that focuses on the enhancement of the security of enterprise and mobile applications through research in cryptographic algorithms, message protocols and the latest developments in cryptographic attacks.
The travel, accommodation and city tour of each group representative for the regional cup in South Korea is sponsored by Kaspersky Lab. The students will be vying for cash prizes from US$750 up to US$1,500.
An invitation with an all-expense paid trip and accommodation to the global round in Stockholm, Sweden in June plus a chance of winning more cash prizes awaits the winners in this round.
In Southeast Asia, only the Philippines and Malaysia made it to this year’s regional round. Malaysia has two qualified submissions.
Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia Channel Sales Director Jimmy Fong is very pleased with the strong interest of students from the Southeast Asian region about cybersecurity and research. He also noted that the active participation of the students is part of Kaspersky Lab’s goal of involving young minds in battling cybercrime through this conference.
“The quality of papers received by the Kaspersky Academy gets better each time which only shows that we indeed have great young minds from this region in the field of internet security,” Fong said.
“Kaspersky Lab will continue to help these ideas grow and empower the youth with the right knowledge to develop their interest in this exciting world of cybersecurity. I wish all the successful participants luck and I hope to see these ideas reach the final round,” Fong added.
All submitted research papers had been evaluated by the education programs committee, which is made up of professors from the United Kingdom, South Korea and Australia as well as key members of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT).
In South Korea, the selected 15 research papers will be evaluated again through presentation and questions of the program committee members. Each student will be allocated 10 minutes presentation and five minutes Q&A by the program committee members.
Selection will be based on scientific and methodological level of work, the social importance of the topic presented, presentation skills & design, ability to answer queries from the panel, as well as practical and innovation value.
This annual competition is a unique platform, bringing together young researchers, IT security experts & university professors from all over the world in a collaborative, fun and creative environment, to present and discuss the most burning issues relating to cyber security.
Student researchers get to present and defend their original research, take part in workshops, teambuilding activities, and attend talks and panel discussions by top experts. By showcasing their projects and knowledge to key academic and industry experts they open themselves to potential new and attractive career opportunities in IT security.
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