Report available! NextGen Girls – Internet Security Ambassadors Project

The NextGen Girls initiative included creating an IoT and Security Curriculum including Internet governance, Privacy, IPV6, IoT, Networking, Information Security and open web technologies and training 40 female University students to become Internet Security Educators. They in turn, trained 160 of their peers, and make awareness to 800 high school girls in IoT safety. The training was delivered through 8 workshops at 4 universities, 24 live online training sessions, 2 meetups and an IoT hackathon among girls.

The main outcome of the NextGen Girls project is the development of a sustainable network of women specializing in IoT and security, advocating IoT safety and enable support for victims while increasing women participation in IoT and Security field. In the long term, the NextGen Girls community will support women to show leadership in the emerging IoT industry, increase safety and advancement of women.

Shilpa Sayura partners, AlgoHack community, Google education, Computer Society and ISOC Sri Lanka worked together to implement NextGen Girls initiative.

NextGen Girls aims to scale up the project “Respect Girls on Internet” which was awarded the ISOC 25 Under 25 Award and received an ISOC Beyond The Net Community Grant. The project developed a network of university and high school girls studying ICT. The goal of the project is to support young women professional development to pursue emerging IoT security careers, that in turn will help build safer and secure IoT environment at homes, workplaces and communities.


The emergence of pocket-sized computing devices, capable of electronic switching, sensing, controlling equipment, video, and audio has created a new paradigm shift in home automation, business, agriculture, transport, environmental technologies. IoT systems use internet to interconnect. Unsecure home uses of IoT can endanger safety and breach privacy of individuals and families. Women are particularly vulnerable as IoT misuse has facilitated revenge porn incidents, harassment, data breach, as well as scams. Online safety activitists recommend that women seek suppor from other women in the event of IoT breach, as seeking support from a male technician can pose additional risks. The project proposed approach is to develop IoT and security skills among women to safeguard their homes, workplaces, and community from IoT breaches. Women becoming IoT security experts immensely contributes to gender equality, diversity, and growth in female participation in the IoT economy.

The report is publicly available.

Report available! A peering strategy for the Pacific Islands

Many telecommunications networks in the Pacific interconnect not directly but via international carriers in the United States or Australia. This has a profound impact on both the cost and the performance of regional traffic. While web traffic is slowed, real-time collaborations are rendered unusable, creating barriers for inter-island collaboration.

Governments, competitive carriers, Internet societies, and activists argue that direct interconnection, or peering, is the answer to these performance problems. They believe that if competitive networks are allowed to exchange traffic free-of-charge with incumbent networks, the cost of Internet will go down, and performance will go up.

Incumbent networks throughout the Pacific steadfastly refuse to openly peer with other carriers, education networks, and government networks – and a change in this behaviour is not in sight. Not only do they refuse to peer, they sometimes charge their competitors more for direct access to their networks than competitors pay for global Internet connectivity. Competitors, activists, and even governments say this is a clear violation of network neutrality. This project investigating carrier interconnections in the Pacific has shown the situation to be far more nuanced.

This project’s objective was to share research collected during an earlier iteration of the project via the web in a dynamic way. This included information on physical and routed topologies, telecommunications market data, and information on the relationships Pacific Island nations have with the rest of the world.

In support of these objectives, the project has produced a website that reviews the telecommunications environment of the Pacific Islands. The site looks at each market’s connectivity to the world: telecommunications, sea freight, air routes, and trade. It provides real-time statistics on carrier market share. Finally, it considers the complexity of island telecommunications through a composite case study on peering.

The report is publicly available.

Report available! RPKI Monitor and Visualizer for Detecting and Alerting for RPKI Errors

Dr. Di Ma from the Internet DNS Beijing Engineering Research Center (ZDNS) has completed the report for one of the grants that was allocated in 2018 for implementation in 2019, titled “RPKI Monitor and Visualizer for Detecting and Alerting for RPKI Errors”.

This project implements an RPKI security mechanism that detects and counters adverse actions in the RPKI, which helps mitigate risks to global routing system. The mechanism is implemented by two components: the monitor, which detects erroneous or malicious RPKI changes, and the visualizer, which displays graphically the validation process passed to it by the validator and the alert information issued by the monitor.

The project achieved the following objectives:

  • Develop an RPKI Monitor to detect RPKI problems due to mistakes by or attacks against CAs and repositories, and generate alerts to the affected parties to remedy the problems. It also provides suggestions to guide RPs in deciding whether to accept or defer accepting those changes.
  • Develop an RPKI Visualizer to display graphically the validation process and involved RPKI data passed to it by the validator and the alert information issued by the Monitor.

The report is publicly available.

Report available! Scalable Traffic Classification in Internet of Things (IoT) for Network Anomaly Detection

Prof. Winston Seah from the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Victoria University of Wellington has completed the report for one of the grants that was allocated in 2017 for implementation in 2018, titled “Scalable Traffic Classification in Internet of Things (IoT) for Network Anomaly Detection”.

The project focused on accurate traffic classification in the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT comprises large numbers of heterogeneous simple devices running single applications, often with little to no security features making them easily compromised and used as tools in cyberattacks. As we become more connected and reliant on the Internet, any form of disruption in connectivity due network anomalies can result in adverse consequences, ranging from loss of productivity and revenue, to destruction of critical infrastructure and loss of life. In the last decade, cyberattacks have increased at an alarming rate, even just based on the reported incidents. We need to be able to classify new traffic types coming from IoT devices accurately and promptly, so that anomalous traffic can be identified and dealt with quickly.

Payload-based (PB) techniques although can reach high accuracy, but suffers from several limitations. The limitations of PB classification are expected to be addressed by statistical-based (SB) techniques. SB approaches are based on flow features and the traffic is classified using Machine Learning algorithms (MLAs). SB classification assumes that specific flow-level features such as flow duration, inter-arrival time, transmitted bytes, packet length and packet size can distinguish different types of traffic flows. We studied how unsupervised machine learning can be applied to network anomaly detection in the dynamic IoT environment where previously unencountered traffic types and patterns are regularly emerging and need to be identified and classified. This project involves the study and selection of appropriate MLAs (to be implemented as a proof-of-concept prototype) and identification of those flow features which have the highest impact on the traffic classification accuracy. This project contributes to making safer cyber-physical systems that are an integral component of the IoT.

The report is publicly available.

Report available! Software Defined Networks based Security Architecture for IoT Infrastructures

Prof. Vijay Varadharajan from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at The University of Newcastle has completed the report for one of the grants that was allocated for implementation in 2018, titled “Software Defined Networks based Security Architecture for IoT Infrastructures”.

The project developed fine granular security policies and a lightweight security protocol to authenticate IoT devices and authorise them to access services in network infrastructure in a secure manner. The project involved three stages:

  • In the first stage, the project team conducted a detailed study of security attacks on IoT infrastructures and the different security solutions that currently exist to counteract the various types of attacks. Then, analysed the pros and cons of the existing solutions, and developed security requirements that need to be addressed in designing security architecture for IoT Applications.
  • As part of second stage, the team developed a lightweight authentication protocol based on a novel public key encryption scheme. The proposed protocol achieved a balance between the efficiency and communication cost without sacrificing security.
  • In the third stage, the team proposed a SDN based security architecture for IoT systems. Their security architecture allowed specification of fine granular access policy constraints on communications between end users, devices and services in a distributed environment. A novel feature of the proposed architecture is its ability to specify path based security policies, which is a distinct advantage in SDNs.

The report is publicly available here:

https://isif.asia/software-defined-networks-based-security-architecture-for-iot-infrastructures/

Congratulations to the ISIF Asia Grantees for 2019

This year ISIF Asia selected 6 organizations in the Asia Pacific to receive USD 20,000 to support research and development of Internet technologies for the benefit of the region. The ideas they submitted for the 2019 call for proposals highlight the main technical, operational and development issues that concern the Asia Pacific Internet community and concrete solutions to address them. This year’s funding round marks our 11th anniversary of operation in the Asia Pacific, and a total of USD 120,000 was allocated.

The application process this year, as the topics for our grants get more specialized, attracted highly relevant proposals and highlighted how a variety of stakeholders are working towards the development of the Internet. We see those as great indicators about the relevance of ISIF Asia as a mechanism to support the development of the Internet across the region. We received 70 proposals from 17 economies.

The funding will be distributed among organizations representing Private Sector (1) and Academia (5) across 5 economies: Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

We are confident the outcomes of their work will continue to support an open, stable, and secure Internet that serves the needs of the people in our region.

2019 Network Operations Research Grants

  • Modelling and identifying IP address space fragmentation pressure points. Curtin University. Australia. USD 20,000
  • Honeynet Threat Sharing Platform. Swiss German University (SGU), Badan Siber & Sandi Negara (BSSN) and Indonesia Honeynet Project (IHP). Indonesia. USD 20,000
  • Implementation and Utilites of RDAP for wider usability among Internet Stakeholders. University of Malaya. Malaysia. USD 20,000
  • Network coding over satellite links: scheduling redundancy for better goodput. The University of Auckland. New Zealand. USD 20,000

2019 I4D Powering Internet Infrastructure Grants

  • Telemetering the telltale signs of power issues of wireless internet relays. Rural Broadband – AirJaldi. India. USD 20,000
  • Network Remote Powering through Quasi-Passive Optical Nodes. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University). Australia. USD 20,000

The 2019 I4D Award was not granted this year, instead one additional grant under the Network Operations Research was allocated.

The APNIC Foundation and ISIF Asia thanks all the applicants for sharing their ideas with us, the Selection Committees members for their hard work to arrive to this great outcome, and to APNIC for their generous funding contributions for 2019.

2019 Call for Grant Proposals and Award Nominations Extended until 21 June

ISIF Asia has extended the deadline for the 2019 Call for Grant Proposals and Award Nominations Extended until 21 June midnight UTC.

This year ISIF Asia will allocate USD 115,000 in funding across 2 categories.

Five grants and one award will be allocated to projects that have a clear development outcome aligned with the focus areas and that demonstrate a concrete contribution to research and/or implementation of Internet-based solutions, Internet operations, Internet infrastructure, technologies and protocols within the Asia Pacific region.

2019 Grants

The Internet Operations Research Grants will support research focused on the availability, reliability, and security of the Internet, with a particular focus on focus on operational stability and security. The research outcomes should aim to expand access to knowledge, expand coverage for research applications and maximize the benefit to the community. Three small grants of USD 20,000 USD will be allocated, for a total of USD 60,000 in funding. 

The I4D Powering Internet Infrastructure Grants will support the research and development of software and/or hardware solutions that can improve the stability and reliability of how Internet infrastructure is powered. This includes but is not limited to solar, wind, and hydraulic solutions used to provide Internet access in remote areas, during disasters, or to power other infrastructure such as IXPs, root servers, datacentres, etc. The monitoring of batteries and their consumption, energy efficiency tools, the management and administration of micro-grids will be considered for this call.  Two small grants of USD 20,000 will be allocated, for a total of USD 40,000 in funding. 

To know more about each of the grants categories and apply, check the focus areas, eligibility criteria and guidelines provided.

2019 I4D Powering Internet Infrastructure Award 

The 2019 Internet for Development Award will be given to one organization working on research and development of software and/or hardware solutions that can improve the stability and reliability of how Internet infrastructure is powered. This includes but is not limited to solar, wind, and hydraulic solutions used to provide Internet access in remote areas, during disasters, or to power other infrastructure such as IXPs, root servers, datacentres, etc. The monitoring of batteries and their consumption, energy efficiency tools, the management and administration of micro-grids will be considered for this award. The award includes a cash prize of USD 3,500 and a travel grant to attend the Internet Governance Forum 2019 in Berlin.

To know more about the 2019 Award and apply, check the focus areas, eligibility criteria and guidelines.

 

Community LTE in Papua project by Yanobama published Final Report

The project “Community LTE in Papua”, delivered a LTE (CoLTE) network -a lightweight, Internet only LTE core network (EPC)- designed to facilitate the deployment and operation of small-scale, community owned and operated LTE networks, with a particular eye towards expanding Internet access into rural areas with limited and unreliable backhaul.

The CoLTE network comes paired with a basic, IP based network manager as well as basic web services. The key differentiator of CoLTE, when compared to existing LTE solutions, is that in CoLTE the EPC is designed to be located in the field and deployed alongside a small number of cellular radios (eNodeBs), as opposed to the centralized model seen in large-scale telecom networks.

The project also provided performance results and lessons learned from a real world CoLTE network deployed in rural Indonesia. This network has been sustainably operating for over six months, currently serves over 40 active users, and provides measured backhaul reductions of up to 45% when compared to cloud core solutions.

Read their Final Technical Report for all the details about their work in Indonesia.

Support ISIF Asia to win one of the WSIS Prizes 2019 on International and Regional Cooperation: Vote by 10 February!

ISIF Asia has provided key funding, mentoring and visibility for the work that innovators and researchers across the Asia Pacific are doing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, integrating Internet-based technologies to tackle community challenges.
The program work is based on international and regional cooperation among funding partners committed to Internet for development. The program has supported research and implementation projects that are helping to advance the knowledge and understanding required to design and maintain reliable, efficient and secure Internet networks as well as
projects promoting affordable access to services and applications that have a positive impact in a community.
The ISIF Asia program has also supported women’s participation and leadership across the Internet industry.
If you’d like to show your support for the work ISIF Asia does, take a moment and vote for ISIF Asia in the WSIS Prizes.

About WSIS Prizes

The WSIS Prizes contest serves as a mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs.
ISIF Asia was recognized as a Champion in 2018 and we hope to get a prize this year on the 10th anniversary of WSIS!

How to vote

Register on the WSIS platform and vote for one project on each of the 18 WSIS Action Lines categories.
The voting phase is open until 10 February.
The 18 winners will be announced and presented with an award at the WSIS Prizes ceremony during the WSIS Forum 2019, 8-12 April 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, while the remaining 72 will be recognized as WSIS Champions during the special ceremony dedicated to their achievements.
Thank you for your ongoing support of ISIF Asia.

Congratulations to the ISIF Asia Grants and Awards winners for 2018

This year ISIF Asia will award USD 210,000 to 10 organizations in the Asia Pacific to support research and development of Internet technologies for the benefit of the region. This year’s funding round marks our 10th anniversary of operation in the Asia Pacific.

We received 236 applications in total for the four funding categories that were announced earlier this year. The applications came from 28 economies across the region. We were very excited to see that around 60% of the applications received were submitted for our new “Gender Empowerment and Innovation” category. It was also very encouraging to receive applications from economies that have never applied for our funding before. Similarly, the application process reflected a variety of stakeholders working towards the development of the Internet. We see those as great indicators about the relevance of ISIF Asia as a mechanism to support the development of the Internet across the region.

The funding will be distributed among organizations representing a wide variety of stakeholders: Government (1), Civil Society (3), Private Sector (2), Social Enterprise (1), and Academia (3) as well as very interesting geographical spread across 9 economies: Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, The Philippines, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Awards

The ISIF Asia 2018 Award winners will each receive USD 3,500 plus a travel grant to the 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) that will be held in Paris, France from 12 to 14 November 2018. Their work will be featured as part of the Seed Alliance Awards ceremony, which will be held on 13 November 2018.

“The 2018 ISIF Asia Award winners are truly innovative initiatives, where access to Internet technologies with a social purpose, clearly show a positive impact to improve the lives of people in the communities they serve in the Philippines and Myanmar. Their experiences and knowledge help overcome the challenges that the developing world faces,” Duncan Macintosh, APNIC Foundation CEO said.

Award winners

Community Networks

  • Community Cellular Networks in Rural Aurora, University of the Philippines – Diliman, The Philippines.

In partnership with a local telecom, the team has developed and deployed a GSM Community Cellular Network in rural Philippines to bridge ‘last mile’ connectivity issues in isolated and relatively poor communities. As of 2017, they have also begun deploying them in partnership with local NGOs, primarily cooperatives, to provide basic cellular services to subscribers.

Gender Empowerment and Innovation

  • Tech Age Girls Myanmar, Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation, Myanmar.

This initiative has successfully supported female community leaders (aged between 16-20) through the ‘Tech Age Girls’ program from community libraries that have been playing a key role in digital inclusion and gender equality in Myanmar. The finalists are selected to implement their own community projects ideas to support their communities.

Grants

As Head of Programs for the APNIC Foundation, I am really impressed by the proposals selected for the ISIF Asia 2018 Grants and how they highlight the main technical, operational and development issues that concern the Asia Pacific Internet community. I am confident the outcomes of their work will continue to support an open, stable, and secure Internet that serves the needs of the people in our region. The APNIC Foundation is particularly glad to see how the distribution of funds reflect regional and stakeholder diversity and the clear links that every project has to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Grant winners

Network Operations Research

  • Measuring and Detecting Network Interference in Southeast Asia, Sinar Project, Malaysia. Grant award: USD 20,000.

This network measurement research aims to show current and past Internet censorship and network interference in media, political criticism, religion, gender and social media networks in South East Asian economies using network monitoring nodes around the region. There will also be a pilot gender gap social audit conducted for a marginalized urban community in Malaysia to research and measure non-technical gaps in Internet access such as affordability, Internet literacy, knowledge or rights, and accessibility and availability of gender-related content.

  • Establishment of a Carrier Neutral Software-Defined Internet Exchange (IXP) Point and Training Programs for Capacity Building in Managing IXPs, Lahore University of Management Sciences – LUMS, Pakistan. Grant award: USD 30,000.

This project aims to deploy a Software-Defined IXP and training programs for IXP development in Pakistan to assist operators to enable new applications such as application-specific testing, traffic redirection through middleboxes, and inbound traffic engineering. While the project centres on a Pakistan IXP, it will eventually be made available to other least developed economies in the region. Another benefit of the project will see costs associated with IXPs reduced via automatic configuration management and dynamic policy assignment.

Community Networks

  • Community LTE in Papua, Yayasan Noken Baliem Mandiri, Indonesia. Grant award: USD 23,000.

This project seeks to deploy the first locally-owned and operated handset to support LTE networks in the world to rural Papua, Indonesia, using low-cost eNodeBs and a custom developed enhanced packet core. YNBM was granted a special experimental cellular license to explore this new rural access technology in Indonesia by the Indonesian Telecom Ministry.

  • Connecting the Unserved – Bhutan’s First Trial with TV White Space Technology, NANO, Bhutan. Grant award: USD 30,000.

Given Bhutan’s challenging physical environment and Internet connectivity issues, this project aims to explore the feasibility and suitability of TV white space technology as an alternative broadband option to unserved areas in the economy.

Cybersecurity

  • RPKI Monitor and Visualizer for Detecting and Alerting for RPKI Errors, ZDNS Labs, China. Grant award: USD 30,000.

This project will implement a RPKI security mechanism to offer a distributed, stakeholder-based counter to the power imbalances arising from RPKI’s hierarchical system. The proposed mechanism detects adverse actions in the RPKI and alerts resource holders to these actions that adversely affect their holding, so that errors can be quickly fixed. The mechanism also enables each ISP to decide whether to accept or defer accepting PRKI database changes that appear to be adverse.

  • A novel graph analytics theory model to mitigate IoT botnets attacks for big data, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Malaysia. Grant award: USD 13,000.

This research aims to use the Graph Analytics Theory model to analyse the behaviour of IoT botnets using a reverse engineering approach to distinguish IoT botnets from raw infection codes and develop a new Graph Analytics Theory model for detecting IoT botnet attacks. The expected outcome of the research is to be able to remove and quarantine the suspicious codes as well as be able to detect behaviour changes in IoT devices.

Gender Empowerment and Innovation

  • NextGen Girls – Internet Security Ambassadors Project, Shilpa Sayura Foundation, Sri Lanka. Grant award: USD 30,000.

This project aims to upscale the ISOC 25 Under 25 Award winner, ‘Respect Girls on Internet’, by developing a network of university and high school girls studying ICT. The goal is to develop females to pursue emerging IoT security careers to help build a safer and secure IoT environment for women, including training 40 female university students to become Internet Security Educators.

  • Increasing the Safe Use of Internet by Women and Girls, Child Helpline Cambodia, Cambodia. Grant award: USD 22,000.

This is a project to strengthen the capabilities of 16 existing helpline ambassadors on the safe use of the Internet and how to report online abuse to Child helpline Cambodia. The 16 ambassadors will organize five pilot ‘echo awareness’ sessions on the safe use of the Internet for girls and women in their communities. The project will also support: free helpline telephones; an online question and answer platform, with information on the safe use of the Internet and gender equality; response to reports of online abuse; and refer victims to psycho-social support services.

The APNIC Foundation and ISIF Asia thanks all the applicants for sharing their ideas with us, the Selection Committee members for their hard work to arrive to this great outcome, and to APNIC, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Internet Society for their generous funding contributions for 2018.