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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Researcher from Tomsk Wins PHDays III Young School

The results of PHDays III Young School, a national information security competition of young scientists, are known. The program committee considered a great number of applications and selected four best works, the authors of which spoke at PHDays in front of leading IS specialists from all over the world.

The ideas of the PHDays Young School participants find practical application very quickly. At the final stage of the competition, Andrey Iskhakov's "Two-Factor Authentication System Based on QR Code" (Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radioelectronics) was voted the most interesting and promising work. It is already decided that the premises of Tomsk special economic zone will be equipped with Andrey's security system in 2014 — security badges will be substituted by a special identification program for employees' mobile devices.

The mobile applications of the PHDays III Young School winner allow fixing security badge and passage ticket flaws, in which static identifiers are used. This software automatically generates one-time passwords valid for a few seconds only. This method decreases the possibility of their copy and exploitation by attackers.

Andrey Chechulin (St. Petersburg) with his research "Composition of Attack Charts for Analysis of Security Events" was the second. Nikolay Tkachenko (Tomks) presented his report on "Development and Implementation of the Mandatory Access Control Mechanism in MySQL" and took the third place, and Ksenia Tsyganok (Taganrog) with her report "Statistical Analysis for Malware Classification" came forth.

Young School is devoted to students, postgraduates and independent young scientists and is held by the PHDays organizers for the second year in a row. The goal of the competition is to find talented information security specialists and to define whether Russian universities graduates are ready to perform their own researches.

In 2012 works of eight finalists of the competition were published in journals that are included in the Higher Attestation Commission list, which is to confirm the high level of the works.

The competition of young scientists is held as part of the Positive Education program initiated by Positive Technologies. The initiative is to expand the knowledge that young scientists got at the university and to introduce the experience of practical security gained by the Positive Technologies experts.

This time the winners were decided by leading IS experts from Positive Technologies, Microsoft, Advanced Monitoring, Digital Security, ERPScan, Yandex, Hacker Magazine, MSU Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics, MEPHI, SPIIRAS, Technical University of Darmstadt, University of Tübingen, Russian Defcon Group. The competition was supported by Asteros, an intellectual sponsor of the forum.

"At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, I should say that such contests play a great part in creation of the modern IS community and stimulate young scientists to get involved in real research projects. Downloaded term papers will become a rare case once," commented Andrey Petukhov (Faculty of Computing Mathematics and Cybernetics, MSU), one of the organizers of PHDays III Young School.

"A stereotype has developed recently — a graduate is a specialist who needs to be trained for several more years. Having thought of Young School, we wanted to show that the situation is different — students and postgraduates can perform researches independently and provide innovative and requested technical solutions. We were so pleased to know we were right. It would be amazing if students could be engaged not only in "paper security" but in practical tasks, with which specialists have to deal every day. I hope that such contests as Young School will ignite universities competitiveness, which will only do good to all of us," noted Dmitry Kuznetsov, Deputy CTO at Positive Technologies.

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