Singapore upgrades cyber security operations, includes wider detection capabilities

The Straits Times

Singapore upgrades cyber security operations, includes wider detection capabilities

PUBLISHED ON AUG 26, 2014 9:38 AM

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim at a media interview, addressing recent infocomms-related incidents. Singapore’s Cyber-Watch Centre is being upgraded to include more detection capabilities to counter increasing threats against government systems. — PHOTO: ST FILE


SINGAPORE – Singapore’s Cyber-Watch Centre is being upgraded to include more detection capabilities to counter increasing threats against government systems.

By January next year, the centre will be able to track unauthorised changes to websites and network traffic to detect malicious files and potential data leakages. The enhancement follows a wave of cyber attacks against government websites last year.

“This upgrade will allow us to better monitor government websites and inspect if there are malicious activities, which could affect access to online public services,” said Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim.

He was speaking this morning at the Infocomm Security Seminar organised by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.

At the same time, work is underway to raise the level of cybersecurity expertise here to boost the local workforce. IDA is getting tertiary institutions to include cybersecurity in the curriculum and have it as a specialist track in degree programmes.

For starters, the Singapore Institute of Technology will be launching Singapore’a first undergraduate Information Security degree programme in September next year.

The Nanyang Technological University has also included an information security specialisation programme as part of its undergraduate curriculum since the beginning of this month. More than 30 per cent of the final year cohort has opted for the programme.

“We need to grow Singapore’s pool of Infocomm security experts and build their capabilities,” said Dr Yaacob.

The biggest growth in manpower requirements will be in the areas of security operations, security engineering and technology. Apart from dedicated cybersecurity experts, other professionals in areas like network engineering and application development are also needed in defending network infrastructure or applications from ever-increasing cyber threats.”

The Cyber-Watch Centre was set up in 2007 to monitor critical public-sector IT installations round the clock. The centre is managed by Singapore-based security services provider e-Cop

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Cyber Warriors & Investigators Challenge

Last Friday, 18 July 2014, sister courses T15 Cyber & Digital Security (CDS) and T55 Digital Forensics (DFS) held the Cyber Warriors & Investigators Challenge for Secondary School Students. Freshmen and Juniors from the two courses volunteered in helping out for the event, and a total of 8 Secondary Schools took part in it. 

The students had to participate in a few stations, one of which they had to use the cipher wheel and another where they had to manually open the PC. At the end of the event, three out of all the outstanding teams won themselves a trophy each. Congratulations to those teams!

Parent’s Guidance Seminar (PG Seminar)

Last Saturday, which was 28 June 2014, the PG Seminar was held. Four of the DFS Juniors volunteered to help out in presenting the Forensics Cart and Web Anatomy Application to the visitors.

The Web Anatomy Application was created by the seniors for their Major Project. It was created to provide a platform to archive web pages, that are based on Internet searches, with forensics in mind. This means that the content are stored in a secured storage server. Not only can users search and view the pages easily and securely, they can also be used as evidence in court.

The parents had their interest piqued by this application, as well as the idea of retrieving deleted data using the forensics cart.

Here are some photos from the PG Seminar.


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On 23rd May 2014 (Friday), ISACA Day was held at LT1 from 12pm to 2pm. ISACA Day is an annual event of ISACA-TPSG which includes recruitment drive. Instead of having 1 speaker, we had 3 speakers. And surprisingly, all 3 speakers are ex-TP students. Although DFS-CDS Get Together Day is more successful than ISACA Day, there is about 20 people who attended including students and lecturers.

First speaker: Mr Ramesh Dharma, senior director of Visa (yes, the Visa that you see on your debit/credit card).

1995 was a memorable year for him as on this year, he entered TP. (I was born on 1995 too!) So Mr Ramesh started the talk by asking us the technology fun facts in 1995. He is really kind! He gave us some time to search the internet to find out the answers. So one guy from year 1 raised his hand and said that the first wiki was created in 1995. He got a prize. A water bottle. Looks damn nice. I was searching for more answers too. And yes, I got it. I got a Visa notebook. Very useful for me since I have to write notes. “Java was introduced in 1995″

After some “warm-up”, he started telling us about his journey as a student in TP and his first work experience. Most importantly, he also shared with us his 5 Steps Success Model. Something new for me to learn about. Let me also share with you his 5 Steps Success Model.

1) Find yourself a mentor – someone who can elevate your thinking and expose you to various options

2) Start looking at the big picture – what is your organisation trying to achieve? (Business focus)

3) Demonstrate security leadership – take ownership of critical projects

4) Showing initiative and impact security in tangible way – making a difference

5) Learning technical skills and important soft skills – package yourself as a complete professional

Have you learnt something from the above summary? Hope you did.


Next speaker: Mr Teh Kai Wen, ex-CDS student who graduated with the Lee Kuan Yew award, currently studying at SMU. In his talk, he covered on his journey in TP: diploma, innovation, leadership, internship and giving back.

Diploma: Interested in IT Security, GPA3.94, Dean’s List

Innovation: Facebook Forensics Toolkit

Leadership: ISACA Student Group, Open Source Student Interest Group, etc

Internship: Interpol

Giving back: Overseas Community Service Project (Cambodia)

This is just a brief writeup on his talk.


The last speaker: Mr Sayed Hamzah, ex-CDS student (diploma with merit), currently studying at NTU. He worked in Interpol (France), RP Digital Security and iDA. In his student point of view, he thinks that exposure and specialization are very important as it helps in the future career development.

Exposure: Competitions/Workshops, Internships, and Talks/Meetups

Specialization: CCNA, Redhat, etc


1) Don’t think that school is enough to equip you for the future.

2) If the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

3) Stay hungry, stay foolish. Keep asking questions.

4) Expose yourself to all aspects of IT.

5) Get a life.


Pictures time!

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Teh Kai Wen, ex-president of ISACA-TPSG, featured in EDB Series on Key Industries Driving Singapore’s Economy

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Lectures, speakers and Justman


Thank you, Mr Ramesh for coming down! :)

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Sayed Hamzah, ex-president of OOSIG, who came down to give us a talk.


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The prize I’ve got!

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DFS-CDS Get Together Day

DFS-CDS Get Together Day held on 16th May 2014 (Friday) at IT1-5-60/61 from 4pm to 6pm was a success! The two rooms are totally occupied. Thankfully, most who attended are freshies as this event is mainly organised for them. The year 2s and year 3s came to help out. I really regret not joining in earlier as I gotta attend a makeup lesson but when I went there around 4.30pm, the room was a bit “chaotic” as there is too many people which makes it kind of hard to manage.

Although this event was held after TP’s CCN Day, they do not look restless at all! Okay~ So what did we do on that day?

Firstly, the introduction started by Justman. It was a collaboration among ISACA-TPSG, OOSIG and AISP. There was competitions held on that day. OOSIG was in-charge of CARC competition, AISP hosted DCNK competition which was why I said this event was targeted at the freshies as this two competitions are year 1 modules. As for ISACA-TPSG, we are in-charge of handling the rest. For example, ordering of refreshments and the prizes (5 8GB thumbdrives) that were sponsored by ISACA Chapter.

Secondly, ta da~ The event started! All was so engrossed with it! (All thinking of winning) While the year 1s werebusying with their competition, the year 2s and year 3s went around helping them (giving them hints here and there) although some, instead, distracted them from their work. (so evil yea?)

Lastly, prizes time! So the year 1s are split into groups of 5. And only one can win. This group was good!

We have to sincerely thank the lecturers for coming down to support us, ISACA Chapter for sponsoring so many things for this event, OOSIG and AISP for planning the competition.

This mingling session between the two courses was a success! :)

Pictures time!



The one of the utmost right is president of ISACA-TPSG, Justman. There is the other blue shirt guy (third from the left), he was the president of OOSIG and the guy in red (second from the left) was the president of AISP. One of the winners has something on and left early. What a pity!

Senior Introductory Workshop 2014

So… Introductory workshop for seniors-to-be are also conducted on 14 April 2014 (9am to 6pm). This workshop prepares us with one of the upcoming modules that we will be having a lesson called “Applied Cryptography in E-services” (ACES). This module consists of python programming language which is quite new to most of us. (I heard the lecturers will assume we know python! :0)

First again, we have to thank the graduating seniors (Zhen Yong, Verbena and Khairul) for coming back to teach us. Secondly, we have to thank Ms Lock for booking the venue for us. And lastly, no lastly.

This python workshop is really beneficial to us as it gives us a better idea of how it works.

For instance,
num1 = int(raw_input(“Enter first number: “))

I can say.. Python exercises given by Zhen Yong is definitely not easy. And thanks to that, we get to know python better.

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Junior Introductory Workshop 2014

On the 7-9 April 2014, we conducted introductory workshops for the juniors by a group of seniors. The juniors will be learning Enterprise Networking (ENNK), Servers Administration and Security (SADS), Digital File Systems (DIFS). First, we have to thank those seniors-to-be for coming down to TP to teach those juniors. Secondly, we would also like to thank Ms Lock for booking the venue for us. Lastly, we do hope that the 3 day lessons are beneficial to the juniors-to-be.

On the first day, Keith and Darren taught ENNK. They taught them Variable Length Subnet Mask (VLSM). This subject is an advanced level of Data Communications and Networking (DCNK). In ENNK, VLSM allows IP address space to be divided into subnets of different sizes as compared to Fixed Length Subnet Mask (FLSM). This classful addressing helps to reduce IP address wastage. In addition, with the Cisco Packet Tracer Software, the juniors learnt about different network configurations such as #no shutdown.

On the second day, the juniors were taught SADS by Justman and Jonathan. This subject is somehow more difficult than ENNK as they have not used or touched Linux in their year 1 modules. Something new to them. Basic linux terminal codes and network configurations were taught. For instance, $ su – admin.

On the last day, Keith and Ian taught DIFS. In DIFS, FAT, NTFS and Ext2/3 were touched. However, due to time constraint, we were unable to compress the whole semester lesson into 1 day so we only touched on FAT32 file system. They were taught the basics and how to traverse thru the system.

These are the pictures that were captured (forgive them, the juniors-to-be are a bit bit shy):

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