Cyber Range

  • Overview

    The first Cyber Range facility in Hong Kong was established at ASTRI in 2016. In collaboration with the Hong Kong Police Force, ASTRI set up the Cyber Range at its premises to provide cybersecurity training services to professionals from law enforcement agencies as well as the financial services industry. Equipped with advanced computer systems as well as sophisticated cybersecurity hardware, the Cyber Range software platform can facilitate team-based cyber-attack and defence exercises. It is powered by an advanced training management system that supports training logistics, content preparations, and trainee assessments. Besides training, the Range can also be used for investigations and analysis of cyber-attacks as well as cyber-defence exploration and research.

    System Highlights

    • Server farm that supports up to 240 Virtual Machines (VMs) simultaneously
    • Training of cyber forensic techniques
    • ‘Blue-team-red-team’ model of attack/defence training
    • Exercise VM preparation and rapid deployment to trainees
    • Adaptive assessment of trainees
    • Visualisation of VMs under attack

     

    Security Content Highlights

    • 6,000+ live security attacks
    • 35,000+ pieces of live malware
    • 180+ evasion classes
    • Training exercises of DDos, Botnet, password and sub-folder brute force attack, slow connection attack, SQL injection, code injection, Man-in-the-Middle attack, etc.

     

    Cyber Intelligence Sharing Platform

  • The group is currently working on a Cyber Intelligence Sharing Platform for the financial industry in Hong Kong where data, information, and intelligence related to cyber-threats provided by the contributing authorised users of the Platform can be collected, compiled, and shared among other authorised users. The purpose of the Platform is to enable timely information sharing to allow spontaneous and appropriate precautionary measures to be taken in combating cyber-attacks.

    To cope with ever changing cybersecurity threats to critical infrastructure and financial stability of Hong Kong, the development of a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform lays the foundation for cybersecurity intelligence exchange among critical infrastructure entities e.g. the financial industry, public utilities, and IT infrastructure organisations. When built, it will be a core enabler of cybersecurity intelligence exchange between banks or even the entire critical IT infrastructure of Hong Kong. The system will be crucial in supporting trusted intelligence exchange among banks and, in future, can be extended to support other sectors and stakeholders.

     

    Blockchain

  • Blockchain (a.k.a. Distributed Ledger Technology) is a software platform which uses advanced cryptographic techniques and peer-to-peer networks to enable the creation of secure, collaborative and trustworthy applications in a cost-effective and reliable fashion. This technology has strong significance to various applications such as crypto-currency and payment systems, digital rights management, and health records management. It is considered a disruptive Financial Technology (FinTech) that can potentially disintermediate some expensive overheads in legacy financial computer systems and also promote automation and digitasation. Our Blockchain Core Competence Group consists of world-class cryptographers, software, network and system engineers, seasoned front-end engineers as well as UI/UX designers. We develop cutting-edge Blockchain systems and applications, and have rich experience in developing (permissioned and permissionless) applications on major distributed ledger platforms such as Bitcoin, Monax, Corda, Ethereum and Hyperledger, etc.

    Focus areas

    Blockchain protocol stack

    Besides pursuing active R&D in our own Blockchain protocol stack, we also have testbeds covering major Blockchain protocols to conduct rigorous security assessment, performance analytics, prototyping, and rapid deployment for financial institutions.

    Consensus algorithms enhancement

    Continuous R&D efforts are being put in to analyse and enhance Blockchain consensus mechanisms that operate specific permissioned and permissionless Blockchain application logics.

    Blockchain technology security

    Our R&D activities also focus on enhancing the security of Blockchain peer-to-peer networks and consensus mechanisms. With joint efforts from ASTRI Security Lab, we provide security assessment and consultancy services to financial institutions on their Blockchain application architecture and security.

    Projects

    Property Valuation Blockchain Application

    Within the scope of the mortgage loan application process, ASTRI was chosen by Bank of China (Hong Kong) to develop a Property Valuation Blockchain System, which provides a more secure and efficient way to digitises the process of property valuation in the lengthy mortgage loan application process.

    The System significantly simplified the entire property valuation process, and thereby led to a sizeable reduction in the process’s operating cost. Besides supporting multiple appraisers, the system has the potential of to be rolled out across many other banks, and more importantly, can subsequently be extended to cover other aspects of the mortgage loan application system. It can enhance productivity, reduce operating cost, improve security and, at the same time, improve user experience.

     

    Project Obsidian – a DLT-based Trade Finance System

    Project Obsidian is a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) based trade finance system. It is developed by ASTRI in collaboration with Hong Kong Monetary Authority, HSBC, the Bank of China (Hong Kong), Standard Chartered Bank, the Hang Seng Bank, Bank of East Asia and Tradelink.

    Building upon the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), Project Obsidian has a great potential to effectively simplify the existing cumbersome paper-based trade finance operations. The system can also provide a real-time visibility that prevents double financing fault among the participating financial institutes.

     

    ASTRI-HKMA Distributed Ledger Technology White Paper

    Commissioned by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, ASTRI published a white paper in November 2016 to provide guidance and directions to the banking industry and other sectors on the application of the distributed ledger technology. Along with the white paper, ASTRI developed a series of Proof-of-Concepts (PoCs) and experimented with the PoCs for acquiring the first-hand hands-on experience of the particular blockchain applications developed in the PoCs. The detailed treatment of the PoCs, findings as well as our experience learnt has been shared in the paper for benefiting all the stakeholders.

     
     

       

    Cybersecurity

  • ASTRI Security Lab (ASL)

     

    R&D Directions

    • Network Security – cyber-threat assessment
    • Encryption Technologies – cloud security
    • Cyber-security Information Sharing – ASLintel
    • Cyber-security Research and Training Platform – Cyber Range

     

    Mission

    Establish in Hong Kong, a world-class information security R&D team, which:

    • provides advanced security assessment, consultancy, and review services
    • nurtures local information security experts and practitioners
    • develops new and advanced information security and encryption technologies
    • develops platforms and systems for enhancing the security and privacy of Hong Kong’s IT and financial infrastructures

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    Opening Ceremony 5 May 2015

     

    Current Functions

     

    Cyber-security Intelligence Sharing

    • Cyber-security news and discovery sharing via ASLintel.

    Technical Services

    • Advanced security assessment, review and consultancy services for financial institutes.

    Technology Development

    • Develop new cyber-security solutions and cryptographic technologies and systems.

    Unique Team

    Our engineers

    Network Engineers Software Developers Penetration Testers
    Cryptographers Ethical Hackers Mobile Kernel Engineers (Embedded System)
    Wireless/Cellular Engineers Biometric algorithm scientists Quality Assurance and Verification Engineers

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    Reverse Engineering Team

    Unique Team + Unique Members

    • Response to ever-changing cyber-attacks
    • Invent new cyber-attack/defense methods
    • Research on unknown security threats
    • Develop new technologies for security and encryption products
    • Connect and collaborate security professionals in HK industries

     

    Cyber Security Research & Practice Platform for Financial Services

    A world-class Cyber Attack/Defense Training Facility

    • Action-based practical training vs theory based
    • Red/Blue team cyber-attack/defense simulation
    • Automatic analysis of war tactics
    • Fast deployment of new courses and cyber-attack simulations
    • Non-vendor specific

     

    Projects

    1. ASLintel platform for financial services

      • Cyber-attack investigation and dissemination
      • Regular seminars / workshops / conferences
      • Platform development, enhancement and operation
    2. CyberRange research & practice platform

      • Platform development and enhancement
      • Cyber-crime case simulation and research
      • Training
    3. CryptoProducts cyber-security core technologies

      • Web-based encryption modules
      • Searchable encryption engine
      • Client-side encrypted cloud storage solutions
      • Software security

    Data Analytics

  • Our Data Analytics team specialises in developing innovative technologies and advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions that help businesses to gain insights for better decision-making.

    We develop technologies throughout the whole data lifecycle, from data acquisition to data storage, data management, data analytics and visualisation. In the past, we collaborated with industry partners from various domains including financial services, marketing, Government agencies and manufacturing.

     

    Technology Focus

    Projects

     

    Real-Time Big Data Analytics Platform

    We collaborated with a leading global manufacturing company to develop a real-time streaming Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform to monitor machines and carry out different AI-based analytics.

    By using different modules provided on the platform and specially designed analytics, the platform allows users to monitor machine status and carry out different analytics such as root cause analysis and predictive maintenance. That helps engineers to find out issues more efficiently and accurately. The system supports process optimisation with increased productivity and efficiency in industrial manufacturing.

    Real-Time Big Data Analytics Platform for Intelligent Manufacturing

     

     

    Corporate News Analytics for Risk Management

    We collaborated with a leading bank in Hong Kong to develop a machine learning method to identify risk-related news regarding their corporate banking clients.

    By using a machine learning-based predictive model, financial institutions can develop a standardised news evaluation process to eliminate inconsistencies resulting from human judgement. The predictive model can also automate the news monitoring process to reduce human efforts and enable large-scale news monitoring from many news sources.

    Corporate News Analytics for Risk Management

     

     

    Intelligent Advertising Management Platform

    We collaborated with a leading digital marketing agency to develop a smart advertisement management system for online marketing.

    By leveraging AI and multi-channel integration, the agency can easily and efficiently manage online advertising for its clients without any particular technical knowledge on optimisation.

    This helps to save a lot of time and cost. The system is also extensible and scalable that enables large-scale online advertisement across different channels.

    • Cross-platform optimisation
    • Consolidated accounts management
    • Intelligent recommendation
    • Powered by AI

    Intelligent Advertising Management Platform

     

     

    AI Knowledge Graph for Optimising Fraud Management

    We developed tools to construct a knowledge graph that facilitates corporate risk monitoring for organisations.

    By performing relation analysis using the knowledge graph, financial institutions can identify entities that are impacted by risk-related events. Relation analysis using knowledge graph can also be applied to other types of risk monitoring such as suspicious transaction monitoring, fraud detection and anti-money laundering.

    Company Risk Management with Knowledge Graph and Anti-Money Laundering

     

    Transaction monitoring, Fraud detection and Anti Money Laundering

     

     

    Smart Traffic Analytics

    By using machine learning-based regression methods and incorporating weather data, we came up with a more precise prediction of the traffic speed in the coming hour taking into account the impact of weather. The solution provided the Government agencies better information about traffic conditions to address the problem of traffic congestion.

    1. Analyse traffic status
      • Traffic speed pattern
      • Rainfall impact to traffic speed
    2. Predict traffic status in the coming hour

    Smart Traffic Analytics

    Cloud Computing

  • Built on top of multi-disciplinary research and development in network, media, and security, Cloud Computing Group (CCG) provides high performance large scale distributed computational platform with efficiency, reliability, performance and flexibility for a range of cloud computing applications from media broadcast, digital rights management, cloud storage, network virtualization, P2P webRTC (real-time communication), to intelligent demographics, Internet Finance and financial trading applications. CCG’s core computing engine builds upon innovative distributed load balancing PE (processor elements) with dynamic expansion/shrink, load shedding, and complex event processing. It has built-in scalable and distributed statistics computation algorithms aiming at multi-modal data processing, pattern recognition, and machine learning for large stream data sets. CCG team provides system, platform, solution, and consulting services so that the customers can focus on their core businesses.

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