Two tools available for network operators for rapid detection of BGP anomalies

Evaluating BGP Replay Tool (BRT) using generated BGP updates and past BGP events

The Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures (CAIA) from the Swinburne University of Technology, explored a new technique that quickly detects different BGP anomalies as part of their Internet Operations Research Grant they received from ISIF Asia during 2016 and implemented during 2017.

The Internet’s default inter-domain routing protocol, the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is vulnerable to different types of anomalies such as hijacking, misconfiguration, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Although considerable research has been carried out into BGP anomalies, existing approaches were not able to mitigate or identify BGP misconfiguration and lack of ground truth time stamps for BGP events.

In this project, CAIA’s team introduced two new tools, real-time BGP Anomaly Detection Tool (RTBADT) and BGP Replay Tool (BRT), to detect BGP anomalies in real-time. Specifically, RTBADT can be used by ISP operators to monitor and detect BGP anomalies through peering it with the intended peer AS, while BRT is able to replay past BGP updates with time-stamps. These tools enable network operators to protect their network from the worst consequence and mitigate the threats of Internet stability.

Read their technical report to find more about the outcomes of this research project and its contribution to support network operators https://application.isif.asia/theme/default/files/ISIFAsia_2016_Grants_TechReport_SwinburneUni_AU_BGPResearch.pdf

Khushi Baby: babies health data collection for improved decision making

The ISIF Asia 2016 Technical Innovation Scale-up Grant supported Khushi Baby, which offers a revolutionary patient-centric platform in India, designed to streamline comprehensive data collection and improve decision-making on the front lines of care.

The data collection methods in Indian rural areas are outdated, cumbersome, and lack patient specificity. Without reliable health records, clinical decision making on the part of community health workers is erroneous and inefficient at the point of care where connectivity is rarely available. Health officials are missing real-time, actionable maternal and child health data, preventing community-level monitoring of which babies are missing their vaccines and which mothers are at risk of birth complications.

Child wearing Khushi Baby health tracking necklace

In order to bridge the gap of maternal and child health, the project team invented a necklace, in which health workers can update patient history by tapping it to their mobile app. They have also designed a dashboard that provides health officials with specific, actionable, and timely analytics. More importantly, the system automatically calls mothers in the local language, reminding them to bring their children to the next vaccination camp and educating them on the importance of immunizations.

Khushi Baby finished its first deployment and randomised controlled trial in over 70 villages. They are now set to expand further in the Udaipur district to over 300 villages serviced by government ANMs in 2018. On 17th January 2018, Khushi Baby team were named as GenH Challenge Winners and received a USD 250,000 to support the continuation of the project. They hope to increase their footprint throughout Rajasthan by building a model consistent with National Health Mission standards for ANMs throughout India. Also, they look forward to translating the insights and engaging with collaborators in Africa and the Middle East where a reporting and engagement gap may be similarly failing maternal and child health care services.

The work done by Khushi Baby contributed to improve general health outcomes in rural Udaipur, especially beneficial to maternal and child health tracking. Read their published technical report to know how did they make it https://application.isif.asia/theme/default/files/ISIFAsia_2016_Grants_Final_Report_KhushiBaby_vFinal.pdf

Let’s Read! app: language preservation in Thailand

Library view from web application
Library view of the Android reader app

Due to the absence of mother tongue reading resources, ethnic minority children in Thailand normally are learning to read in languages which have no connection to their home and community. This situation has been decreasing children’s interests and motivation of learning in rural Thailand, especially in the S’gaw Karen community, northern and western Thailand, with an estimated population of around 200,000.

Supported by ISIF Asia 2016 Grant, The Asia Foundation created a scalable model of technology and local community interventions that can be adapted to the local context of any number of other minority language groups throughout the region. Their web app, available at letsreadasia.org, and the Android reader app both went live to the public at the beginning of 2017, which allows individuals to both read the content and participate in the translation of stories. These tools have successfully increased the comfort of S’gaw Karen-speaking community with reading in their native language.

The project team has been working closely with local partners during the whole process, in order to fit the real needs of minority language communities. These experience enables The Asia Foundation to expand the project into other minority language context in the Asia-Pacific.

Read their technical report to learn more about their project https://application.isif.asia/theme/default/files/ISIFAsia_2016_ScaleupGrants_TechReport_TheAsiaFoundation.pdf

UAV-Aided Resilient Communications for Post Disaster Applications

The ISIF Asia Technical Innovation grant for 2016, assisted Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC) in  The Philippines to develop a resilient communication system, using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to aggregate data from ground zero and relay it to a central command center where it can be further processed or acted upon by decision makers.

Ateneo

Data delivered by this system can contain situation reports, weather information, transport requests, and other vital information such as survivor profiles, medical history, and images of victims’ faces to support identification and reunification efforts from the humanitarian and relief organizations providing support after the disaster.

Through this architecture, the project team encouraged the development and further adoption of a new approach in utilizing UAV platforms for assisted search, rescue and reporting efforts.

The team has demonstrated during a flood drill at the town of Isabela during July last year that a system comprised of a combination of mobile phones, RF modules, and push-to-talk radio can significantly improve and augment communications capabilities. In contrast, traditional cellular network facilities would have failed in these disaster situations.

The project team’s activity has led them to believe that continued work in this field is sustainable, because they have recently met new partners that are interested in continued effort in this area.

The Final Technical Report is available for download https://application.isif.asia/theme/default/files/ISIFAsia_2016_Grants_TechReport_AteneodeManilaUniversity_vFinal.pdf

Legalese – A Web Application Transact Seed-stage Financing Without Expensive Legal Fees

Entrepreneurs always require legal advice when they are trying to secure support from investors, but most-time (specially when they are starting a business) they do not have the expertise to assess legal documents such as fundraising paperwork.

Entrepreneurs in South and Southeast Asia who have found potential investors also struggle, as the online templates are primarily in English and most web-based solutions available today are mostly only available for US jurisdiction.

Legalese, supported by ISIF Asia 2016 Technical Innovation grant, created an application, which enables Asian entrepreneurs and investors to complete financing transactions without hiring lawyers for paperwork. This app is able to access a library of contract templates, generate a suitable set of agreements, and help to understand the implications of each proposed action. In a long term, the software development will begin to influence the delivery of law. Instead of relying on an experienced lawyer for advice, an end-user may consult the legal equivalent of StackExchange to hear opinions from a community of peers.

Legalese team
Legalese team

By building a fully-automated interface with smart defaults, embedded user education, and automated legal logic, Legalese aims to eventually be able to help these entrepreneurs at scale.

To discover more detailed project information, their final technical report is available to download at https://application.isif.asia/theme/default/files/ISIFAsia_2016_Grants_TechReport_Legalese_vFinal.pdf

Building Realistic Simulator to Enhance Internet Satellite Links in the Pacific Islands

Remote locations such as many Pacific Islands face a significant challenge to access reliable and fast Internet connectivity. Shared narrowband Internet satellite links are a staple in many islands of the South Pacific. They often underperform due to the difficulties that the dominant Internet transport protocol TCP faces in estimating the available capacity across the link.

ISIF Asia 2016 Grant recipient, The University of Auckland, has built a simulator capable of replicating the demand profile and other conditions encountered on such links in order to be able to study potential solutions to the problem, such as network coding or performance enhancing proxies.

UoA satellite simulator
UoA satellite simulator

Thanks to the funds from the ISIF Asia grant, the project team developed tools to automate the experimentation process, including scripts that configure the link emulator, the “island clients” and the “world servers” (a combined total of over 100 machines), any encoders, decoders, and performance enhancing proxies.

Read their technical report to have more details of this research project at https://application.isif.asia/theme/default/files/ISIFAsia_2016_Grants_TechReport_UoA_SimulationSatPAC.pdf

Equal Access to the Information Society in Myanmar

ISIF Asia 2016 Grant recipient, Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF) implemented a project to provide equal access to the information society in Myanmar.

Project team
Project team

The project team identified that the general population at Myanmar will benefit from increased access to digital, information literacy, and critical thinking skills. Therefore, efforts were undertaken by MBAPF to equip Myanmar’s citizenry, especially women, with the knowledge, skills, confidence, and other abilities to shape a democratic, trustworthy, and vibrant local information society.

Their work with the ISIF Asia grant during 2017, builds on the experience gained with their work with IREX on the Tech Age Girls program, which covered other economies besides Myanmar.

Since then, MBAFP has been developing the skills of young female leaders by providing them with specialized information technology training, leadership and job skills, and opportunities to engage in critical public discussion.

During the course of the ISIF Asia funded project, MBAFP worked with 20 libraries established across the country and 588 participants attended training sessions, running two programs: the Mobile Information Literacy (MIL) and Tech Aged Girls (TAG).

MIL shared the information literacy with trainees to learn how to find and evaluate the quality and credibility of online information, understand how to create and share online information effectively, and participate safely and securely.

TAG worked with a selected group of Myanmar young women without other access to technology training in IT and leadership skills, improved their job skills and helped them become role models for youth in their communities.

The technical report elaborates all the project implementation and outcomes https://application.isif.asia/theme/default/files/ISIFAsia_2016_SmallGrants_TechReport_MBAPF-TAG-MIL_Myanmar_vFinal.pdf

ISIF Asia really appreciates to their wonderful work, a remarkable example of what can be achieved where community impact is at the heart of what you do.

Computer Emergency Response Team established in Tonga

As the first national CERT in the Pacific Islands, certTonga was established in July 2016, in order to provide “A safe and secure digital environment for the Kingdom of Tonga and its citizens”. The team aimed at conducting incident handling, performing vulnerability handling, and providing security consultation and advice at Tonga and greater Pacific.

The Cybersecurity grant, funded by Internet Society, assisted in the setting up of Tonga CERT’s capacity and capability to undertake its mandated function. APNIC and it’s Foundation also helped find opportunities for certTonga Staff to partake in capacity building activities and chances to collaborate and form partnerships with relevant organizations.

During the project implementation, there has been many awareness and educational initiatives in relation to the functions of the CERT and through the better understanding of its security role in the government and society, participation and involvement is being increased from time to time.

certTonga
certTonga

certTonga is now playing a vital role in the Tonga Police investigation process which has placed the certTonga in a position to be actively planned to grow in all areas to be able to cope with the demand. There is a particular focus on building capacity of the team as it is now essential to the continuous operation of the CERT as well as obtaining a reliable information obtained from a verified sources and undisturbed evidences.

The Final Technical Report “Developing certTonga” is available for download.

Seed Alliance at IGF Mexico

The Seed Alliance members, FIRE Africa (AFRINIC), FRIDA Program (LACNIC), ISIF Asia (APNIC) will be present at the 2016 Internet Governance Forum, which will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 6-9 December.

During the IGF, the Seed Alliance will organize two workshops, one on cybersecurity and one on innovation and entrepreneurship, hold the Seed Alliance Awards Ceremony, and offer an opportunity to interact with grantees and Award Winners at the Seed Alliance booth in Guadalajara’s Palace of Culture and Communication, home of the Internet Governance Forum.

On Tuesday 6 December, the Seed Alliance will hold its first workshop of the week, which will focus on cybersecurity initiatives developed in and by the Global South. The session will be moderated by Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO, and will include noted speakers, all of them cybersecurity experts, including ISOC’s Olaf Kolkmann. This workshop will explore how developing economies are working to address cybersecurity issues, highlighting successful initiatives in their corresponding regions.(https://www.intgovforum.org/cms/igf2016/index.php/proposal/view_public/26).

In this sense, it is worth noting that this year the Seed Alliance included a specific category, funded by the Internet Society, which provided financial support to initiatives seeking to improve Internet security in the region: Protecting the TOR Network against Malicious Traffic in Brazil, BGP Security by RENATA (Colombia’s National Advanced Technology Academic Network) and Developing Tonga National CERT.

  • Prepared by Campinas State University (Brazil), the project for Protecting the TOR Network against Malicious Traffic seeks to implement a solution to the growing malicious code traffic operating over this network.
  • BGP Security by RENATA (Colombia’s National Advanced Technology Academic Network) involves implementing origin validation for BGP routes in RENATA’s network backbone.
  • In the case of the Tonga CERT, the project lead by Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Environment, Climate Change, Information, Communication, Disaster Management (MEIDECC will work on creating the first national CERT in the Pacific region.

Award Winners 2016

On Tuesday 6 November, the Seed Alliance members will also present the 2016 Awards recognizing eight innovative initiatives and practices that have contributed to the region’s social and economic development. These are:

  1. AgriNeTT by the University of West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago)
  2. Mexicoleaks (Mexico);
  3. Restoring Connectivity: Movable and Deployable Resource ICT Unit (MDRU) by CVISNET Foundation (The Philippines);
  4. Towards A Fairer Electoral System: 1 Person, 1 Vote, 1 Value by Tindak (Malaysia);
  5. All Girls Tech Camp by Give1ProjectGambia (The Gambia);
  6. DocmeUP (Ghana);
  7. Kids Comp Camp (Kenia) and
  8. Tobetsa and WiFi TV Extension Project (South Africa).

To conclude, on Friday 9 December, FIRE, FRIDA, ISIF Asia will hold a second workshop on entrepreneurship and innovation in the Global South. This workshop will analyze the challenges innovators and entrepreneurs must face in developing countries and attempt to identify opportunities for Internet innovation in the countries of the Global South.
https://www.intgovforum.org/cms/igf2016/index.php/proposal/view_public/212

Finally, a Seed Alliance booth will be set up at the IGF Village, where FIRE, FRIDA and ISIF Asia Award winners and cybersecurity grant recipients will be available to share with Forum participants.

Event Participation: APrIGF 2015

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The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) 2015 was held from 30 June to 3 July at Macau University of Science & Technology, Macao, hosted by HNET.Asia and Macau High Technology Industry Chamber. Gathering 150 regional delegates including 30 youth participants, the APrIGF 2015 continued the objective of advancing Internet governance development and engaging the next generation of Internet leaders, see http://2015.rigf.asia/. The recordings of each session are available to be downloaded at http://2015.rigf.asia/archives/. One aspect to highlight about the overall program was that there were more workshops that discussed Human Rights and Gender compared to last year.

Four ISIF Asia funding recipients participated at the conference thanks to the support from partners and sponsors. Bishakha Datta from Point of View (India), Nica Dumlao from Foundation for Media Alternatives (Philippines), Jonathan Brewer from Telco2/Network Startup Resource Center (New Zealand), and Ulrich Speidel from University of Auckland (New Zealand) shared their views and experiences as part of the program of the event.

Bishakha Datta (Point of View, India) represented the Civil Society groups at the Opening Plenary. PoV contributes to amplify the voices of women and remove barriers to free speech and expression.

Picture 2 all-filipina delegation
Nica and her colleagues from the Filipinas delegation actively involved in IG discussions

Nica Dumlao (Foundation for Media Alternatives, Philippines) is FMA’s Internet Rights Coordinator, working on the intersection of technology and human rights in the Philippines. Nica has been very active on Internet Governance both globally and regionally, contributing her experience at two global IGFs and two APrIGFs. FMA organized two sessions: 1) “Gender and Internet Exchange (gigX)” a gender pre-event workshop in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), and 2) “Human Rights & Governance in ASEAN Cyberspace”. She was also part of the panelists of three sessions of the main program: “Threats in Expression in Asia”, “Bridging Gender Digital Divide”, and “Localizing Internet Governance”. In these sessions, they shared the experience in working on issues around digital rights, privacy, and women’s rights in the Philippines. In addition, they realized how the other panelists and participants look at issues of Internet rights and governance in the region. “The APrIGF provided a space for us Filipinos to have meaningful exchange with other stakeholders in the region and to plan for further collaboration”, Nica reported.

Jonathan Brewer (Telco2/NSRC, New Zealand) attended several sessions and also had a presentation in the session entitled “Broadband Infrastructure and Services for the Next Billion Users”. In his words, Jon left the sessions “enriched with new information, viewpoints, and concerns”. Some of the highlights for the sessions he attended were as follows:

  • In the session “Universal Acceptance: Been there, done that”, discussing Internationalized Domain Names, it was highlighted that one of the main challenges for developing applications is the support for multiple languages.”
  • “Net Neutrality in the Asia-Pacific” discussed a range of separate but inter-related topics including Network Neutrality, Peering, Sending Party Pays, and Zero Rating.
  • “Smart Cities in Asia and the Deployment of Big Data: Privacy and Security Challenges” provided an overview of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and how their increased use in cities could have significant impacts on privacy and security for residents of these cities.
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Prof. Ang Peng Hwa from NTU in Singapore, presenting during one of the APrIGF sessions in Macau

Ulrich Speidel (University of Auckland, New Zealand) shared about his experiences during the implementation improve Internet user experience in Pacific Island countries with network coded TCP. Ulrich is a firm believer that network coding may help improved goodput in places where TCP faces difficulties coping with high latencies across bottlenecks in the presence of a large number of TCP senders and the APrIGF was a great place to share about this exciting developments, funded by ISIF Asia, along with other partners. He was also one of the speakers of “Broadband Infrastructure and Services for the Next Billion Users”. He attended several sessions and highlighted the following: “Broadband and Infrastructure Services for the Next Billion Users”, “Information Security and Privacy in the IoT Era”, and “Smart Cities in Asia and Development of Big Data”.

Surprisingly, although both are based in New Zealand and both work on Internet infrastructure issues, Jon and Ulrich did not have collaborated in the past, and thanks to the opportunity to attend the APrIGF 2015, they visited Auckland together and commissioned a new RIPE Atlas probe as part of deployment of network coding equipment on Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.

The APrIGF has taken the challenge to produce for the first time an “Outcomes Document”, which aims to identify the key issues and priorities within the Asia Pacific region that were discussed at the conference. The final document will serve as an input to feed into the wider global IGF discussions and also other relevant forums on Internet governance discussions. The document was open for comments at http://comment.rigf.asia to reflect the community views and encourage participation and engagement in Internet Governance issues. The Finalized Outcomes Document is expected to be further developed and finalized by August 14, 2015.