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3 Pinoys make it to global cybersecurity research contest

Research papers by three Filipino students are among the top 15 finalists in an international cybersecurity research contest. The contest dubbed "The Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa (APAC and MEA) Cup 2013" is an annual international student conference "aimed at encouraging research into information security across related fields to push the boundaries of knowledge and academic study into application with research papers by undergraduate to post-graduate students from the region vetted by a panel of academicians and Kaspersky Lab analysts," Global developer of secure content and threat management solutions Kaspersky Lab announced Tuesday. The Kaspersky Lab APAC and MEA Cup is one of the five regional rounds of Kaspersky Lab's global annual conference, a collaborative environment where students, experts, scientists and researchers different institutions around the world will discuss the key concerns related to cybercrime and cybersecurity. With this year's theme: “Cybersecurity for the Next Generation,” the Philippines will be represented in by Computer Science seniors Ivan Dominic Baguio and John Ultra, both from the University of the Philippines and Marvin Rey Garcia from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines during the contest event at the National University of Singapore on March 21-23, 2013. This is the second time the Philippines has reached the regional finals for the annual event. The first time was in 2012 when the research paper authored by Joshua Arvin Lat and groupmates Rod Bondoc and Kevin Atienza from UP-Diliman was shortlisted for the Asia Pacific and Middle East Asia round. The group later bagged the first prize for their paper on a secure online USB login system during the final round of the Kaspersky Lab International Conference in the Netherlands. "Competition is stiff not just for the attractive cash prizes of USD1,000, USD750 and USD500 for the top three places but also for the opportunity to gain exposure at the international level. All teamleaders of research papers are automatically accorded free travel and accommodation packages plus guided tour of the host city," Kaspersky said. Garcia with his teammates Hannah Roselle Chan, Christopher Celestial, and Arc Ezekiel Mercolesia proposed the “Integration of Virtual Private Network in a Secured Smart Home Electricity Management System”. Their paper promises a solution to the secure management and control of household electricity. Through the Internet it can collect on-line data power consumption and manipulate power supply of the connected electrical appliances. Ultra’s solo research paper entitled, “A Collaborative Access Control Model for E-voting Systems” proposes a new method for modeling and enforcing separation of duty (SoD) in computer system like the one used in electronic system (e-voting). SoD is a popular approach to minimize fraud and error in high integrity tasks. He proposes an intuitive and easy to use method for enforcing SoD on tasks performed on computer system which can be used to raise the integrity of election administrative tasks performed on an e-voting system. Baguio and co-author John Carlo Florencio wrote about an “On-the-fly Encryption for Android Devices”, which they said can address the limitations of Android devices in encrypting disks or external memory in real time. The other top 15 finalists are students from Indonesia’s Bandung Institute of Technology, City University of Hong Kong, South Africa's Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Australia’s University of Technology, Iran’s Shiraz University, Japan’s Institute of Information Security, India's KIIT University and the Malaysian institutes University of Malaya, Universiti Teknologi MARA, and Multimedia University. Evaluation of the research papers will be based on scientific and methodological level, social importance and relevance, objectivity of the information and analytical materials, practical and innovation value and presenter’s performance. According to Harry Cheung, Kaspersky Lab Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Kaspersky Lab is constantly on the lookout for fresh and innovation cyber security suggestions from the younger generations to address the complexity and severity of cyber crimes today. “As cyber threats escalate, the need for a newer pool of talents to contribute new cybersecurity ideas is of pressing concern. This competition allows Kaspersky Lab to discover these young talents who can add significant input. The Filipino winners made our Asian region proud last year and we are excited for this year’s representatives to make an impact,” Cheung said. The three best papers from this round will represent the region and compete against other regional qualifiers from North America, South America, Europe, Russia and Commonwealth Independent States at the international and final round. This will be held at the Royal Holloway, University of London in the United Kingdom in June 2013.
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