Filtered by: Faculty

Three Singapore smart home hub, Wi-Fi router brands carry new cyber-security label

30 December 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , News Media , Security

 

Smart home hubs and Wi-Fi routers from local brands Aztech, HomeAuto Solutions and Prolink are the first technology products to carry cyber-security labels similar to the energy-efficiency labels on home appliances.

Sold on e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee, four products from these three brands have been given the Level 1 rating under the Cybersecurity Labelling Scheme (CLS), which is aimed at helping buyers gauge how exposed they are to risks.

The Level 1 rating means the device maker has ensured that there is a unique default password and that software updates are automatically pushed to the products. The CLS - a voluntary tiered rating system administered by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) - was launched in October.

Checks by The Straits Times found that the prices of the four CLS-labelled products are comparable to those of non-labelled counterparts. For instance, a single unit of the labelled Wi-Fi router from Prolink costs $150, while one unlabelled Wi-Fi router from TP-Link's Deco X20 line is priced at $149.

Experts have, however, said that labelled products could cost markedly more - such as when, for a higher rating, a manufacturer sends its product to an external laboratory to test its resistance to cyber attacks. This is because complying with the requirements for higher ratings involve "significant effort and resources", said Associate Professor Goh Khim Yong from the National University of Singapore's School of Computing.

While some consumers said they would be willing to pay a small premium for a more secure product, most indicated that they would prioritise other factors such as user-friendliness and reliability over cyber security.

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NUS scientists develop computational tool to help design safer devices

29 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , News Media , Security

 

As the world embraces the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more everyday appliances are being connected to the Internet so that people can monitor those appliances remotely. While this makes our lives more convenient, there is a looming threat of cybercriminals using these devices to gain access to sensitive data.

Now, scientists from the National University of Singapore’s School of Computing (NUS Computing) have made it easier to guard against that. They have developed a software tool that can simulate hacker attacks, and which provide an automated way to protect the design. This helps designers create more secure computer chips.

The software works by simulating a physical hardware attack known as laser fault injection. To accomplish this on a real device, the cyber-criminal would first partially disassemble the hardware to gain access to its silicon chip without interrupting its operation. Then, they use a laser to generate a processor error. This throws the gates open, allowing them to extract data and security information.

Previously, it was expensive to protect chips against this kind of attack because they had to be tested manually. If the chip fails the test, the design must start over. The NUS software, called the Laser fault Attack Benchmark Suite or LABS, can now simulate attacks in a wide variety of situations and demonstrate how the chip reacts. All this can be done without having to manufacture a single chip. This helps chip designers figure out how to repel the attack, and even trick the attackers into thinking they have succeeded. With this software, chip manufacturers will be able to simulate any device, and results are available within minutes.

The NUS scientists, led by Assistant Professor Trevor E. Carlson and Professor Peh Li Shiuan, have made the software open source so researchers and the chip design community can use it, or help make it better.

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NUS Presidential Young Professor of Computer Science Reza Shokri joins Private AI Collaborative Research Institute

29 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Artificial Intelligence

29 December 2020 – Assistant Professor Reza Shokri has been selected by the newly launched Private AI Collaborative Research Institute to conduct research in heterogeneous decentralised learning.

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Protecting IoT devices from attack

28 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Feature , Systems & Networking , Security

 

In 2017, a casino in North America reported that their database had been hacked. The news in itself wasn’t surprising — more than 5,000 such breaches took place last year — but the cause of the leak was: a fish tank.

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LiveSnippets: Writing on-the-go

22 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Feature , Media , Social Media & Digital Business

 

In April 2018, Hyeongcheol Kim flew to Montreal for work. The young PhD student was excited — it was his first time in the Canadian city and the conference he was about to attend was one of the biggest in his field of computer science. What’s more, Montreal was only a three hour journey from Quebec City, a place he had glimpsed many times on the small screen.

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PhD student Ahmad Asadullah wins Kauffman Best Student Paper Award at ICIS 2020

21 December 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Student

21 December 2020 – Information Systems PhD student Ahmad Asadullah won the Kauffman Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2020.

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Towards personalised medicine: subtyping patients using their genomic data

18 December 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Feature , Data Science & Business Analytics , Healthcare Informatics

 

Most pundits gazing into the crystal ball will likely shout two words in their prediction of healthcare’s future: precision medicine. Increasingly, there is growing recognition that tailoring treatments based on an individual’s lifestyle, genes, and environmental factors can yield much improved outcomes.

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Beyond the classroom: Innovations that change the world

14 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , News Media , Systems & Networking , Security

 

Lettuce, mint and even tomatoes – Singaporeans may soon be able to grow these vegetables and more in their HDB flats.

Having witnessed “a deep psychological fear” when COVID-19 sparked panic buying here, Toby Fong and his team – superFARM – decided to bolster the nation’s food security. Their plan? Encourage green fingers through home-based farming.

“When we think about food security, it’s usually at a national level so it almost feels like the individual (is disconnected) from the entire food security equation,” said Toby, who graduated with a Master’s from NUS Architecture this year.

Under the “Make Our People Better” category, Toby, NUS Computing graduate Lim Hui Qi and NUS Arts and Social Sciences graduate Ong Jun Ren will design modular farming units that can fit into the smallest of homes. These units can also be customised for bigger spaces.

The plan is to transform niche hydroponics systems into functional mini-farms. In the next six months, half of their $50,000 funding will go to research such as field testing and online surveys, while the rest will be used for prototype development.

The team also wants to expand the individual’s role in food security to make sustainability a way of life.

“We want to recalibrate people’s attitude and behaviour to encourage responsible food consumption,” said Toby.

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Associate Professor He Bingsheng wins IEEE TPDS 2019 Best Paper award

09 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Student

9 December 2020 – Associate Professor He Bingsheng and his collaborators have won the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems 2019 Best Paper award.

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Assistant Professor Jun Han and collaborators win Best Poster Runner-Up Award at SenSys 2020

08 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Research , Systems & Networking , Security

8 December 2020 – Assistant Professor Jun Han, Computer Science PhD student Sriram Sami, and final-year undergraduates Yimin Dai (Computer Science) and Sean Rui Xiang Tan (Computer Engineering), as well as Assistant Professor Nirupam Roy from the University of Maryland, won the Best Poster Runner-Up Award at the 18th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys 2020).

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Robot vacuum cleaners can be used by hackers to 'spy' on private conversations: NUS study

08 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , News Media , Systems & Networking , Security

 

When your robot vacuum cleaner does its work around the house, beware that it could pick up private conversations along with the dust and dirt. Computer scientists from NUS have demonstrated that it is indeed possible to spy on private conversations using a common robot vacuum cleaner and its built-in Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) sensor.

The novel method, called LidarPhone, repurposes the Lidar sensor that a robot vacuum cleaner normally uses for navigating around a home into a laser-based microphone to eavesdrop on private conversations.

The research team, led by Assistant Professor Jun Han from NUS Computer Science, and his doctoral student Mr Sriram Sami, managed to recover speech data with high accuracy. NUS students, Mr Dai Yimin and Mr Sean Tan Rui Xiang, as well as Assistant Professor Nirupam Roy from the University of Maryland, also contributed to this work.

Mr Sami shared, “The proliferation of smart devices – including smart speakers and smart security cameras – has increased the avenues for hackers to snoop on our private moments. Our method shows it is now possible to gather sensitive data just by using something as innocuous as a household robot vacuum cleaner. Our work demonstrates the urgent need to find practical solutions to prevent such malicious attacks.”'

The core of the LidarPhone attack method is the Lidar sensor, a device which fires out an invisible scanning laser, and creates a map of its surroundings. By reflecting lasers off common objects such as a dustbin or a takeaway bag located near a person’s computer speaker or television soundbar, the attacker could obtain information about the original sound that made the objects’ surfaces vibrate. Using applied signal processing and deep learning algorithms, speech could be recovered from the audio data, and sensitive information could potentially be obtained.

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New practices needed to stay safe online in era of working from home

08 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , News Media , Systems & Networking , Security

 

Say "no" when your child asks to use your work laptop to do his schoolwork, or set up a different user account on the work laptop for different activities.

There are ways to reset habits and practices for a more digitally secure 2021 as working and e-learning from home become the new normal even after Covid-19, said panellists at The Straits Times Reset 2021 Webinar Series: Digitalisation And Cyber Security on Wednesday.

The panellists comprised of Associate Professor Steven Wong from the Singapore Institute of Technology, Mr David Koh, chief executive of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore; Associate Professor Chang Ee-Chien from the National University of Singapore School of Computing; and Mr Benjamin Ang, head of the Cyber and Homeland Defence Programme at the Centre of Excellence for National Security, a policy research think-tank.

Prof Chang suggested segregating devices at home by individual or workflow. For example, as far as possible, children should use a different desktop or laptop from the ones their parents use for work.

"If that is not possible, then try to segregate by setting up different user accounts on a laptop. Even if you have your own machine, you can segregate accounts for work, for family, or for playing games," he said.

"Segregation is about setting up security parameters, so that when something happens within that parameter it will not spill over to other (areas)."

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Seven NUS professors lauded for their work and service

08 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , News Media , Programming Languages & Software Engineering , Security

 

NUS has honoured seven exceptional educators, researchers and professionals at the NUS University Awards 2020. The annual event recognises individuals for their outstanding contributions in the areas of education, research and service to the University, Singapore and the global community.

Professor Dong Jin Song from the NUS' School of Computing was given the University Research Recognition Award for developing a software verification framework that has more than 4,000 users from over 150 countries.

NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye lauded the award winners for being role models for the university community. “Each award winner has exemplified the spirit of excellence with an indomitable spirit. They are truly esteemed individuals – beacons and pathfinders who inspire us to better ourselves and to scale new heights even in times of crisis. NUS is proud to celebrate their dedication and distinguished accomplishments,” he said.

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The Department of Computer Science welcomes four new faculty members

02 December 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Algorithms & Theory , Systems & Networking , Artificial Intelligence

2 December 2020 – Four new faculty members have joined NUS Computing’s Department of Computer Science:

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60 years of facial recognition: The hidden perils behind Singapore’s ‘facial recognition era’

27 November 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , News Media , Security , Media

 

In recent years, the Singapore government has tapped on facial recognition for various purposes as part of its ‘smart nation’ initiative. For instance, Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 uses facial recognition technology for various purposes such as passenger check-in, immigration and boarding, while GovTech launched a launched the "Lamppost-as-a-Platform" project, which outfits some 95,000 traditional lampposts in the country with a network of wireless sensors and cameras to support urban and transportation planning and operations.

Associate Professor Terence Sim from the School of Computing at the National University of Singapore stated in an exclusive interview with China-based news website The Paper that there are trends of facial recognition technology being abused, and that laws protecting such technology could be further strengthened. He also elaborated further on privacy issues regarding such technology.

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Giving start-ups a head start

27 November 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Teaching , Feature , Digital Transformation, Platforms & Innovation

 

Every semester, Francis Yeoh spends part of his time in pitch slams. These are intense sessions where teams of students have five minutes to try and sell their start-up ideas. Yeoh, the Professorial Fellow for Entrepreneurship at the NUS School of Computing, and his colleagues listen carefully to the pitches before deciding which teams are worthy of a $10,000 grant.

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Associate Professor Hahn Jungpil wins Best Paper award for Advances in Research Methods track at ICIS 2020

25 November 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , Data Science & Business Analytics , Intelligent Systems

25 November 2020 – Associate Professor Hahn Jungpil and PhD in Information Systems graduate, Peng Jiaxu, recently won the Best Paper award in the Advances in Research Methods track at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2020.

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Associate Professor Hahn Jungpil wins Best Paper award for IS Development & Project Management track at ICIS 2020

25 November 2020 Department of Information Systems & Analytics , Faculty , Research , IS Development & Management , Digital Transformation, Platforms & Innovation

25 November 2020 – Associate Professor Hahn Jungpil and Master’s in Information Systems graduate, Vasilii Zorin, recently won the Best Paper award in the Information Systems Development & Project Management track at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2020.

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NUS Computing professors and PhD students listed in GSMA Mobile Security Hall of Fame

20 November 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Student

20 November 2020 – Computer Science professors Chan Mun Choon and Han Jun, along with their PhD students Nishant Budhdev and Nitya Lakshmanan, were recently listed in the GSMA Mobile Security Hall of Fame.

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Associate Professor Kan Min-Yen and alumnus Nguyen Van Hoang win Best Paper award at CIKM2020

18 November 2020 Department of Computer Science , Faculty , Student , Alum

18 November 2020 – Associate Professor Kan Min-Yen and Computer Engineering alumnus Nguyen Van Hoang won the Best Paper Full Research Paper Award at the 29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM2020), held online from 19 to 23 October.

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