Cyber Security | Asia Pacific University (APU)

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Cyber Security

The Top University Goes To.. APU!

 

We are announced as the Top University at the KPMG Cyber Challenge 2018!

Our teams achieved tremendously, at the recently concluded competition. Among all universities that participated, our students achieved the highest number of awards in various categories, with their outstanding skills and knowledge in the cyber security field.

The challenge was a 4th installation initiated by KPMG, to nurture undergraduates on their ability to develop innovative, real-world cyber security solutions. Apart from the main “Cyber Security Challenge” track, KPMG’s strategic partners, Netpoleon, Google Cloud, FireEye and IET developed different tracks to assess participants on based different technologies. Our students’ have attained awards in the following categories:

Based on the highest number of awards achieved by our teams, we emerged as the Overall Champion and are now recognized as the Top University at the challenge!  Without doubt, this excellent performance was a result of dedication and effort by the mentors, Dr. Meisam Eslahi, Ms. Maryam Var Naseri, and Mr. Umapathy Eaganathan who have assisted, guided as well as supported the teams towards their success.

Hands-On Experience in Biometrics Technologies

IRIS Corporation, as an established player in trusted identification, is an organization that has a significant international presence in 32 countries across the globe. With their proven expertise, IRIS offers global clients smart cards, secure ICs, inlays, cards and passports personalization and issuance by adopting the latest national and international regulations and technological standards. We are pleased to share that our students were able to gain the professional working environment and hands-on industrial experiences through the industrial visit to IRIS Corporation Berhad that was organized by the APU School of Computing & Technology. 

Under the guidance of Dr. Mohamed Shabbir, Afifah Binti Sabri and Nik Sakinah binti Nik Ab Aziz from the faculty, 35 students who were from the Cyber Security and Forensic Computing programmes had the opportunity to visit IRIS and listen from practicing experts in the field of cyber security.

Overall, it was a great beyond the classroom learning experience for students who learnt about the functioning of various biometric devices and its applications as well as more in-depth knowledge of the cyber security working environment - many of them even expressed their interest to undergo their internship or start their career with IRIS! Kudos to the faculty for organizing the visit!

[Press Release] Malaysia’s First Integrated CyberSecurity Talent Zone Launched at Asia Pacific University

Kuala Lumpur, 5 October 2018: Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) unveils Malaysia’s first Cyber Security Talent Zone located within a University, at its campus in Technology Park Malaysia, Bukit Jalil today.

The launch of the CyberSecurity Talent Zone is officiated by YB Tuan Gobind Singh Deo, Minister of Communications & Multimedia, accompanied by YBhg Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and YBhg Datuk Parmjit Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of APIIT Education Group.

At his welcome speech, Datuk Parmjit Singh mentioned, “The launch of the APU Cybersecurity Talent Zone is indeed a major milestone for us, and provides us with the perfect platform for us to make a quantum leap to the next level in our Cybersecurity, Forensics and IOT talent development efforts. This is a prime example of the power of partnerships, and in this regard we are grateful to MDEC for their leadership, dedicated support and active participation, as well as our partners TecForte Sdn Bhd (Malaysia), PGI Ltd (UK) and Cyber Test Systems (France) for their invaluable contributions in making this a reality. Through these international partnerships, the APU Cybersecurity Talent Zone is perhaps the most advanced facility of its kind within a Malaysian University.”

The aim of setting up the CyberSecurity Talent Zone within APU’s campus is to address industry’s pressing need for technically competent CyberSecurity professionals. The exposure received by APU students in this Talent Zone is indeed invaluable. APU partnered with MDEC and industry partners in this truly International initiative, which includes infrastructure and services from at least three countries – a Security Operations Centre (SOC) set up in collaboration with TecForte Sdn Bhd from Malaysia, a comprehensive Cyber Range set up together with Cyber Test Systems from France, and UK GCHQ accredited “UK GCHQ Security Operations Centre – Incident Responder (SOC-IR) Program provided by PGI Ltd.

Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) commented: "Malaysia is vitally aware of the importance of future-proofing the cybersecurity sector, especially to ensure that the nation’s digital economy continues to thrive. It is more critical than ever before to fortify and strengthen Malaysia’s cybersecurity ecosystem with strategic initiatives, especially through public-private sector collaboration such as today's integrated cybersecurity talent zone."

Datuk Yasmin added that this move followed the launch of an industry-driven up-skilling talent development initiative with APU, UK's PGI and TecForte under MDEC's Platform for Real Industry Driven Project Exchange (PRIDE) programme with the aim of transforming cybersecurity challenges into sustainable economic growth.

"In this Industrial Revolution 4.0 era, our education programmes and initiatives are expanding beyond just preparing for career employment; for digital transformation, learning must continue right through the whole of life," continued Datuk Yasmin.  "Collaborative digital education and training initiatives will play an increasingly vital role in creating opportunities and preparing our workforce with relevant industry-based skillsets that are aligned to industry needs."

The CyberSecurity Talent Zone features a fully-functional Security Operations Centre (SOC) that allows students to have hands-on cybersecurity operations experience. The facility, supported by TecForte Sdn Bhd with training and development by PGI, allows APU’s Cyber Security students to actively analyse occurrences of cyber-attacks and plan counteractive measures towards cyber threats through real-time data.

TecForte Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-based expert in Security Management Solution and Advisory, has been part of APU’s industry partnership panel since 2016. Under the industry-academic partnership, Tecforte has been supporting APU’s cyber security education via its ELITE (Elevating IT Education) Program, as well as collaboration on Internship & Postgraduate Research.

TecForte’s ELITE aims to partner with 10 selected universities in Malaysia and the ASEAN region to produce 10,000 ELITE Program graduates and 150 ELITE trainers by 2025,” said Kho Han Yao, CEO of TecForte Sdn Bhd.

In addition, a full-fledged Cyber Threats Simulation and Response Centre (also known as Cyber Defence Centre – CDC) is also included within the Cyber Security Talent Zone, supported and sponsored by Cyber Test Systems of France (via Cyber Intelligence Sdn Bhd) with equipment valued around RM2.4 million. The Cyber Defence Centre incorporates latest technologies and a cyber-defense system (also known as Cyber Range) that can simulate highly complex cyber-attacks in a hyper realistic environment, enabling cyber security professionals and students to understand and formulate defence strategies, and practice the entire chain of cyber defence, while preparing them to deal with real cyber threat attack when it happens.

Students will be exposed to the usage of the facilities in their Year 2 and Year 3 of studies, in which they will be required to complete assignments and group projects in the SOC and CDC to produce accurate cyber threat reports based on the real-time data. With the use of Data Analytics, data collected can be used in both academia and industry environments for research purposes, to create innovative solutions to combat future threats in the cyber world.

With the strategic partnerships, APU & its industry partners aim to build the next generation of highly skilled cyber defenders for academia, businesses, government and service providers.

Other facilities within the Cyber Security Talent Zone include the Centre for Research and Development in IoT (CREDIT) and the Centre for Forensics & Cyber Security (FSec) that are designed to provide a wide spectrum of advanced technologies and tools for the usage of students, academia and the relevant industry partners.

Some details of other facilities within the Cyber Security Talent Zone are as follow:

  • The Centre for Research and Development in IoT (CREDIT), powered by technologies from MDEC, Mimos, IBM, SAP, FavorIoT, Iconix, Semtech and other various industry partners feature an array of display of latest IoT-enabled devices and solutions. Workshops, projects and lecture classes will be conducted in the IoT Learning Labs, whereas the Project Innovation Room provides the facility for students to conduct research and develop innovative IoT products and solutions.
  • The Forensics Mock Court serves as an avenue for students to be exposed to real-world practices in forensic evidence presentation, particularly when it comes to presenting findings of cyber security investigation reports, traces of digital footprints and so on.
  • The Centre for Forensics & Cyber Security (FSec) serves as a sophisticated research centre for undergraduate and postgraduate students to conduct research on digital assets protection, cyberspace activities, cybercrime investigations and incident handling and responses based on the provided facilities. Moving forward, the Centre will also host industrial talks by partners from the industry in which the facility will be utilised as an industrial networking zone as well.

Double Win at Hack @ 10

We are pleased to share that our students attained marvelous achievements at the Hack@10 competition, that was held at University Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) recently. Hack@10 is a security competition to search new security talents among the competing students and to reward those who have successfully demonstrated their Cyber Security knowledge and skills. 
 
APU Forensics & Cybersecurity Research Centre (FSec) Student Section coordinated and arrange the participation of our students in the competition, who were spread into three teams:
 
hashcow: Choong Chih Xien (APU), Alexandr Sukhamera (APU) 
Cmonster: Rueben Ng Yuan Jiun, Pea Jia Ying and Lee Liang Foong 
Leviathan: Teng Chee Yuen, Barath a/l Siva Kumar and Imran Esack Dawoodjee 
 
 
 
These teams were supported by Yusnita Yusof, Nor Azlina Abd Rahman and Yogeswaran A/L Nathan from the Network, Security and Forensic (NSF) academic group under the School of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Engineering & Technology (FCET) and who also members of FSec.
 
After an intense 6-hour competition, two of our teams, hashcow and Leviathan won as the Champion & 2nd Runner Up. They received cash prizes of RM3000 and RM1000 respectively. Cmonster managed to be at 10th place, sharing the same score with 4 other teams (7th - 10th places). Great to know that all of our teams were among the Top 10!
 
Congrats to APU teams for job well done! 


Publication on TechWire Asia - "Cybersecurity experts in high demand, earn more"

THE demand for cybersecurity experts in emerging markets like Malaysia is so high that companies are turning their roles into highly lucrative careers and poaching students with job offers even before they graduate.
 
United Kingdom-based cyber-security firm Protection Group International (PGI) says IT professionals who upskill to specialise in security could easily see a 20 percent increase in pay, The Star reported.
 
“Demand is outgrowing supply and pushing up pay, as companies compete for the best talent,” PGI chief corporate development officer Sebastian Madden was quoted as saying.
 
“Malaysia has a huge pool of talent and is very strategically placed and we know many foreign students like to travel to learn in Malaysia,” added PGI UK’s Sebastian Madden explaining why signing the agreement with Malaysia is a sound strategic move.
 
He said globally, the demand for the experts rose exponentially as governments introduce regulations requiring mandatory cybersecurity measures in certain industries.
 
By 2020, the estimated global shortage in the field could reach a staggering 1.5 million worldwide.
 
To counter the shortage, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a government-owned overseeing the nation’s Multimedia Super Corridor, says it is looking to reduce the gap of 3,000 cybersecurity experts through two strategic initiatives under the Real Industry Driven Project Exchange (Pride) talent programme.
 
Together with PGI, MDEC has teamed up with Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) and local security solutions provider, TecForte Sdn Bhd, to increase the cybersecurity talent pool, according to the Malaysian Reserve.
 
“The partnership between industry players and the local educational institution will help identify the gaps in the industry and guide critical skill set development within the institution,” MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said during an agreement signing ceremony on the matter on Friday.
 
“This will also help to upskill cybersecurity industry talents and produce high-income professionals.”
 
By 2020, the estimated global shortage in the field could reach a staggering 1.5 million worldwide. Source: Shutterstock
 
A recent AT Kearney study on cybersecurity revealed the top 1,000 Southeast Asian companies could lose US$750 billion in market capitalisation amid cybersecurity concerns that could derail the region’s digital innovation agenda.
 
Southeast Asia’s digital economy is tipped to add some US$1 trillion to the regions gross domestic product (GDP) in the next ten years.
 
“However, the increasing wave of cyberthreats and risks could impede trust and resilience in the digital economy and prevent the region from realising its full digital potential,” Yasmin said.
 
“Looking at Malaysia, it has also seen strong economic growth in recent years and is determined to continue this trend to achieve the government’s vision of becoming a high-income nation.”

The entire article and photo above was published on Techwire Asia on Tuesday, 13 February 2018.

Source: http://techwireasia.com/2018/02/cybersecurity-experts-high-demand-better-paid-pros/ 

The Nation's Pride - ATOS IT Challenge 2016

We have all waited for this moment of glory! 

Muhammad Alkautsar Sanusi, Abdulhamid Ahmed Ali, Gamma Rizkinata Satriana and Syahmi bin Suleiman, Level 2 students of the BSc (Hons) in Information Technology with a specialism in Mobile Technology and BSc (Hons) in Information Technology with a specialism in Information Systems Security, who represented Asia & Malaysia as one of the Top 3 Finalists at the ATOS IT Challenge 2016 Global Finals, were crowned as 1st Runner Up in Paris, France on the 14th of June 2016. What’s more? They also bagged the Social Media Award, thanks to their active engagement with their followers on the social media.

The team, under the mentorship of Hemalata Vasudavan from the APU School of Technology (SoT), battled through 8 months of planning, research and development of the ‘Go n Gone’ mobile application – an application that allows social media monitoring, filtering and deletion of inappropriate content. It was a remarkable achievement by our undergraduate students, as they competed with other finalists from the UK and France, who were made up of postgraduate & PhD students respectively.

Click here to read the interview reports with the team and their mentors, Prof. Dr. Ir. Vinesh Thiruchelvam and Ms. Hemalata Vasudavan about their secret recipe to success.

Producing Malaysia’s Top Security & Forensic Specialists

Two student teams from the School of Computing and Technology (SCT) of Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) were crowned champions of the ‘Forensic Challenge’ and ‘Hack and Defense’ competitions at the recently concluded i-Hack 2016, which took place at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) from 23rd April to 24th April 2016.


The i-Hack 2016 attracted participation from students, practitioners, academicians and security experts from higher education learning institutions, related government bodies, security commissioners and IT professionals in security industry. 


The event was also endorsed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), F-Secure, Haibro, ITECH Specialist Solutions, Accrete Technologies and Quann Security.
The Forensic Challenge was a 10-hour competition that tested participants’ forensic computing skills through investigations, procedures and final presentation of a forensic report.


Meanwhile, the Hack and Defense challenge was a 8-hour score-based challenge in the ‘Capture the Flag’ format, in which participants competed to attain as many ‘flags’ and ‘coins’ as they can, through solving questions related to cyber security and forensics. 

APU’s Team ‘Sherlock’, comprising Khor Chia Ler, Chan Xin Wei and Soo Jia Cheng, mentored by Sulaiman Harun, attained the championship of the Forensic Challenge whereas team ‘SHA1337’, comprising Nicholas Ian Nonis, Choong Chih Xien and Alexander Sukhamera, mentored by Yusnita Yusof, was crowned champions of the Hack and Defense competition. Both APU teams walked away with a cash prize of RM7,000.
On the other hand, APU’s team ‘Nachos’, comprising Mohamed Siddiq Rahmat, Toong Chee Sheng and Syahmi bin Suleiman, mentored by Nor Azlina Abdul Rahman, also bagged the 2nd Runner Up of the Hack and Defense competition and walked away with a cash prize of RM1,000.


The teams of students who participated in the competition are students from APU’s School of Computing and Technology (SCT). With a proud track record and history of producing highly competent graduates in Computing going back to its origins as APIIT, APU’s School of Computing & Technology today provides offers pre-university, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Computing, IT, Software Engineering, Computer Science as well as in in the fields of Information Technology, highly specialised areas such as Cyber Security, Forensic Computing, Database Administration, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Big Data, Mobile Technology and more. 

APU's First Capture-the-Flag IT Security Competition 2016 (XCTF 2016)

The APU School of Technology and Cyber Security & Forensics Club (CSFC) with the sponsorship of e-Cop Surveillance Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia, organized APU’s first Capture the Flag (CTF) IT security competition on Thursday, 28 January 2016.

 
The aims of the competition were to;

  • Expose students to near-real-world security challenges
  • Build a sustainable community to learn security 
  • Provide platform for students to excel their specialism

The Competition was in the format of Jeopardy; in which participants were required to solve as many security challenges as possible within the time limit. A total of 20 students took part in the challenge, which provided both students and lecturers a chance to improve their skills and widen their scopes by applying theory into practical means. The participants had the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to analyse examples of bad coding, to bypass security measures, and to know what should be done to avoid repeating mistakes. Participants were also introduced to many new topics and subjects which might not be covered in typical classes allowing easy expansion of knowledge without going for lectures and tests. 
 

   


Winner List:
Champion: n00bs - Alexander Sumahera (Diploma in Information Technology)
1st Runner Up: ThomasIsAvaliable - Toong Chee Sheng, Thomas Teoh Zi Eng, Mohammed Farook Bin Rafiuddin (Degree in IT Level 2)
2nd Runner Up: Sherlock - Khor Chia Ler, Soo Jia Cheng, Chan Xin Wei (Degree in IT Level 3)
 

 

Organising Committee
School of Technology (NSF Staff):

  1. Yusnita Yusof (Chair)
  2. Nurul Haniza Mohtar 
  3. Nor Azlina Abdul Rahman
  4. Sulaiman Harun
  5. Yogeswaran AL Nathan
  6. Khoo Li Jing 

Students’ Organizing Team:
Main organizer team / Challenge creators:

  1. Nicholas Ian Nonis TP034089
  2. Choong Chih Xien TP033739
  3. Goh Eu Gene TP034120

Event organizer team:

  1. Celine Deong Sim Yee (TP033597)
  2. Oh Yenyi (TP033656)

Network team:

  1. Daniel Raj S/O Divagaran (TP022419)
  2. Chu Jian Hao (TP030899)
  3. Nor Natasha Ashira Binti Shamsudin (TP035315)
  4. Mohamad Fahad Islam (TP034685)
  5. Yuan Yichao (TP032893)