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Filipino students win top honors in Kaspersky Lab’s 2012 Student Conference Global Cup

Pinoy pride is at an all-time high yet again. After the remarkable performance of Jessica Sanchez in this year’s American Idol, Manny Pacquaio aims to bring home the gold once more as he take on American boxer Timorthy Bradley this weekend.

But unbeknownst to many, a group of young lads, led by Joshua Arvin Lat, did our country proud just recently in the international scene, last month in the Kaspersky Student Conference Global Cup held over in the Netherlands, to be exact. Not only did they reach the finals, they won 1st place too, besting out 13 other participants from all over the world. And for the record, this is the first time the Philippines made it this far in the competition.

Aside from bragging rights, the 22-year old Lat, with co-authors Kevin Charles Atienze and Rod Xavier Bondoc, also won 1,500 Euro for their winning paper, SOUL System: Secure Online USB Login System.

Photo of the authors of the winning research paper in the Kaspersky Lab 2012 Student Conference Global Cup (L-R): Kevin Charles Atienza, Rod Xavier Bondoc and team leader Joshua Arvin Lat

What’s 1,500 Euro worth, you ask?

It’s roughly around Php81K. Wow! Now who says it doesn’t pay to be a geek!

Good job, guys! We’re proud of you, and we’re hoping the next batch can represent us as well as you did in the next Kaspersky Student Conference Global Cup.

More on this milestone in the full press release below:

Filipino students top Kaspersky Lab’s 2012 Student Conference Global Cup

A team of Filipino students were recently named overall winner in the global cup of Kaspersky Lab’s annual international conference dubbed ‘IT Security for the Next Generation’.

The event, held at the prestigious Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands last May 11-13 brought together the brightest researchers from four preliminary regional rounds namely, North America, Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth Independent States and from the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, to compete for the top awards.

Twenty-two-year old Joshua Arvin Lat from the University of the Philippines, won first prize as the team leader of the research paper, “SOUL System: Secure Online USB Login System”. The paper was co-authored with his classmates Kevin Charles Atienza and Rod Xavier Bondoc. All three were Computer Science students when they submitted the paper to Kaspersky Lab. They won 1,500 euros for their winning paper.

As part of his prize, Lat is invited to be a part of the program committee for the competition next year.

Second place went to Iwan Gulenko from the University of Munich in Germany, who presented a research paper entitled, “Concept and Development of a Facebook Application to Raise Security and Risk Awareness Regarding Social Engineering”. His paper won for him 1000 euros.

Meanwhile, Napa Sae-Bae of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (New York Poly) from New York, USA took third place with her research on “Biometric-Rich Gestures: A Novel Approach to Authentication on Multi-touch Devices” for which she received 750 euros as cash prize.

The jury also decided to present a special prize to Ang Cui from the Columbia University in New York, USA for his work “Killing the Myth of Cisco IOS Diversity: Recent Advances in Reliable Shell code Design” (in co-authorship with Jatin Kataria and Salvatore J. Stolfo).

“We are very happy that our undergraduate research paper got first place. We did not expect it would stand a chance against those of post-graduate students’ papers from all over the world,” Lat said.

Team member Bondoc said, “we were already very happy to have reached the International Cup and represented the country but winning it proved that we can compete with other countries when it comes to cyber technology.”

Third team mate Atienza, who was in Warsaw, Poland when he learned the news remarked that he was impressed with Josh’s presentation skills that made them win the competition.

“This student conference provides a motivation and incentive for students to improve the qualities of their research. I’m grateful for Kaspersky Lab for providing students like us this opportunity,” he quipped.

“The quality of the student papers is absolutely outstanding and I am amazed to see the level of research presented across all the papers selected for the conference. I believe such initiatives by Kaspersky Lab play a major role in bringing academics, security experts at Kaspersky Lab and, most importantly, the best student brains closer to each other and promoting the culture of education and research around the world,” commented jury member Dr. Priyadarsi Nanda, professor at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.

This is the third year of the student conference with the inclusion of Asia Pacific countries. It is the first time the Philippines was shortlisted for this competition.

The Philippines was represented by two teams in the regional cup held at the City University of Hongkong in Hongkong last March 14-16 for which they won the top two prizes. Lat and his team clinched the first prize while Ranyel Maliwanag and his team members Mariah Strella Indrinal and Marynyriene Silvestre, who are also Computer Science students from UP Diliman scored second prize.

The annual conference has been held since 2008. The most promising student papers submitted to the organizers are selected, and those nominees are invited to participate in the conference. There, they have an opportunity to present their research work, competing with their fellow participants from other universities, as well as attend master classes and presentations from industry experts, and to join those experts in discussions on contemporary IT security problems.

Regional rounds of the conference are held in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and Russia and the CIS, with the strongest candidates progressing to the final phase.

“The international ‘IT Security for the Next Generation’ conference is a platform for discussion and the exchange of knowledge and experience, bringing together current and future IT security professionals. The conference aims to support and encourage talented young specialists in the battle against Internet threats, while helping them form an idea of the IT security profession and current industry trends while they are still at university,” explains Veniamin Ginodman, Director of Educational Programs at Kaspersky Lab.

In this year’s student conference, 14 winners of the regional rounds participated in the finals of the ‘IT Security for the Next Generation’ international conference. Alongside leading Kaspersky Lab security experts, the jury included:

· Last year’s winner Mark Seeger, Doctoral researcher, CASED Department Secure Services;

· Prof. Andrey Philippovich from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University;

· Prof. Gevorg Margarov from the State Engineering University of Armenia;

· Prof. Nasir Memon from the CSE Department, NYU Poly;

· Dr. Priyadarsi Nanda, professor at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia;

· Dr. Andrew Martin, MA DPhil MBCS CEng CITP, university lecturer in Software Engineering from the Department of Computer Science of the University of Oxford;

· Dr. Maria Papadaki, lecturer in Network Security, Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research at the University of Plymouth.

Professor Memon of the NYU Poly highlighted that “creating a secure and reliable infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges we face in a globalized economy and it is imperative that we get the brightest minds to tackle this problem. The Kaspersky challenge is a great example of how we can excite and challenge talented students from around the world and make them aware of the challenges we face”.

“This is a unique event,” described Dr. Martin of the student conference.

“In its varied audience, it is a great reminder that IT security is a very diverse field, needing many perspectives in order to solve the hardest problems. The students’ enthusiasm and their immersion in the digital world helps to inject energy into a community always in need of new ideas,” Martin said.

Allan David

Allan David

Online, Allan’s got you covered as far as news (and some reviews every now and then) goes. Offline, you’ll see him either sweating it out in the badminton courts or dining out in one of the new restos around town. His favorite noodles: cold soba.

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