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

  • Data Analytics Team specialises in building innovative technologies and advanced solutions to help customers gain insights from big data for better decision making. We are developing technologies throughout the whole data lifecycle: data acquisition, data storage and management, data analytics and data presentation.

    The team is experienced and professional in both big data technologies such as Hadoop, Spark, Map reduce, Kafka, Hbase, Elastic search, etc, and the machine learning, deep learning and graph analytics which provide generic and domain-specific analytics solutions for various domains including financial, government, industry manufacturing and etc. We work with enterprises, government and organisations to deliver FinTech, Intelligent manufacturing, smart city and various big data analytics solutions.

    Big Data Platform

    Data Analytics Solutions

    Data Presentation Dashboard

    Focus Areas

     

    FinTech

    • BCInsight: Data Analytics for Blockchain

      By using advanced data analytics technologies such as graph analysis, pattern mining, time-series correlation and predictive analytics, we are developing tools and algorithms to provide a thorough understanding about blockchain transactions, to help deriving real-time intelligence such as AML solution and better risk assessment for regulations.

     

    • Personalized financial products recommendation

      We are also developing technologies for helping financial institutions to provide personalised product recommendation, based on user’s profile, preference and historical transactions. The objective is to reduce human effort as well as increasing the success ratio in choosing appropriate products for promotion.

     

    Intellectual Manufacturing

    • StreamInsight: Real time IoT data analytics platform for Intelligent manufacturing

    StreamInsight aims to build an end-to-end real time IoT data analytics platform with specially designed analytics algorithms to support industrial systems monitoring, problem detection, root cause analysis, predictive maintenance and etc.

     

    Smart City

    • Smart Traffic

    Traffic has major impact on livability and efficiency in cities. Smart Traffic is one of the major focuses in Hong Kong’s smart city initiatives. In this project, we leverage the big data analytics technologies to correlate the information across multiple departments/systems to analyse Hong Kong traffic status, the weather impact to traffic as well as real-time prediction of traffic status in the coming hour. The solution can help government departments have better visibility into traffic conditions, conduct more effective operations to relieve/avoid traffic congestion and etc. For citizens, the solution can help deriving better route planning.

     

    Social data analytics

    • SocialInsight: Social Data Services and Analytics Dashboard

    SocialInsight is a big data management system for providing real time social data services and analytics dashboard. It collects data from various social media channels, such as facebook, twitter, weibo, wechat, forums, news website and etc., and using the behavioural, predictive, graph and descriptive-prescriptive analytics to build up various solutions such as brand monitoring for enterprises, public comments monitoring for government agencies, risk management and analysis for financial institutions and etc.

     

     

    Project

    Bamboo: An Easy-to-use Big Data Analytics Platform

    Collaborated with HPE, we developed an easy-to-use end-to-end Big Data Analytics (BDA) platform for both technical and non-technical enterprise users. It empowers the business users to improve their decisions and operations by harnessing the value of Big Data. They can easily migrate the business intelligence data from existing data sources (e.g. RDBMS) to the said platform and set up the data analytics workflow for their specific business domain via a user-friendly graphical interface. The developed platform has been successfully announced to the market and has been integrated into HPE’s big data solution framework.

    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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