Overall winner was Firman Azhari from the Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia. Second was Dusan Repel from the of Plymouth University, UK. And third was Iwan Gulenko from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.
Fourteen finalists from ten different countries in South America, Russia, Europe, the US, Asia and Africa had won their way through regional heats to reach the final: two days of activities, keynotes, challenges and workshops in London. CSNG is the flagship of Kaspersky Lab's efforts to seek, support and educate talented young people from around the world as they set out on a career in IT security.
"Essentially," said Susannah Woolmer in a blog post after the event, "the purpose of the Kaspersky Academy Student Finals was to enable these bright minds to gain, and share, in-depth practical knowledge; to meet and mingle with IT industry experts; and to ultimately learn from each other’s experiences."
The first of the two days included a talk on Bletchley Park and the birth of machine cryptanalysis, delivered by Dr Joel Greenberg of the Bletchley Park Trust. The main event, however, was a 'Dragons' Den' style pitch by the contestants. Each had two minutes to persuade the judges to support a specific proposal. The winner here was Ivan Dominic Baguio from the University of the Philippines Diliman with a presentation on the need for on-the-fly encryption for Android devices.
The second day included more presentations and a little sightseeing in London – but culminated in a grand gala dinner and the announcement of the overall winner. That winner, Firman Azhari, had impressed the judges with his project: Detection of Security Vulnerability in Indonesian Near Field Communication (NFC) Applications, designed to protect e-payment and e-identity data. His proposal included a mobile application called NFC Inspector and a small portable device for analysing NFC systems called AZlyzer.
“Cyber threats are evolving at high speed," commented Veniamin Ginodman, head of education programs at Kasperksy Lab, "and unfortunately it doesn’t look like there will be any let up in cyber criminal activity. Against this background it is vital to provide the younger generation with the benefits of a high-quality IT education." Kaspersky's CSNG is clearly a step in the right direction: Azhari is now "more determined than ever to continue my studies and build a career in IT security!”