UP contingent bags top prize at Kaspersky’s Global Security Cup

Filipino student Joshua Arvin Lat (center), first place winner in the Kaspersky Lab 2012 Student Conference Global Cup posing with second placer Iwan Gulenko (left) from Germany and third placer Napa Sae-Bae (right) from New York, USA. Not in photo are Lat's team members Kevin Charles Atienza and Rod Xavier Bondoc.

MANILA, Philippines — The research paper of three University of the Philippines (UP) students focusing on secure online login systems was awarded first prize at a global student conference convened by Russian security software firm Kaspersky Lab in May.

The paper, titled “SOUL System: Secure Online USB Login System,” is a secure online authentication system, which involves a two-factor authentication scheme using a password and an ordinary USB flash drive as a security token.

The group is comprised of team leader Joshua Arvin Lat and members Kevin Charles Atienza and Rod Xavier Bondoc and are all Computer Science students from UP Diliman. They were one of two Philippine teams that won the Asia Pacific and EMEA part of the competition and advanced to the global leg of the annual tourney.

The global cup, held in May at the prestigious Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, pooled together the top student competitors from the regional rounds in North America, Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth Independent States and from the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

The UP contingent emerged as the top winner during the conference, besting the representative from Germany who placed second and the entry from USA, which bagged the third place. The students took home 1,500 euros for their winning research.

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

“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.

Jury member Dr. Priyadarsi Nanda of Sydney’s University of Technology remarked that the quality of student research papers entered in this year’s competition was “absolutely outstanding.”

“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,” Nanda added.

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 Hong Kong, SAR 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, which began in 2008, pools together promising students whose student papers were selected to become part of the annual gathering of security and industry experts.

Students are given the opportunity to present their research work before qualified professionals in the field of security and compete with fellow students from universities the world over.

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.