Vietnam’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) under the Authority of Information Security, Ministry of Information and Communications announced the results of the implementation of its campaign on reviewing and removing malware nationwide for this year.
The results were released by Tran Quang Hung, director of the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).
The initiative is a large-scale campaign aiming to ensure the safety and benefits of communities, businesses, individuals and families that use internet-connected devices that are networked in a cyber environment.
The goal of the campaign is to reduce the rate of malware infection by 50% and reduce the number of IP addresses of Vietnamese computer systems in globally popular computer networks infected with viruses by 50%overall.
Researches by a number of reputable security firms that conduct global surveys showed that although malware infection in Vietnam had decreased recently, it was still high compared to other countries in the world.
Statistics showed that Vietnam had about 16 million computer addresses following the 4th generation internet protocol (referred to as IPv4) in the middle of September 2020. Of these, about three million IP addresses were frequently blacklisted by many international organisations.
One of the key outcomes of the campaign implementation is to take Vietnam out of the top list of malware infection rates reported by major security and information technology firms in the world.
The campaign was hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications and implemented by NCSC in co-ordination with corporations including VNPT, Viettel, BKAV, FPT and CMC.
Many individuals and organisations have joined forces to check and remove malware from thousands of infected computers of individuals and businesses free of charge. The number of individuals and organizations giving feedback to the campaign has reached over 17,000.
Of the 900,000+ computers involved in malware scanning, over 300,000 infected computers were pinpointed and attended to by units participating in the campaign.
Information technology units, participating in the campaign, provide tools to inspect, process, and remove malware to ensure user safety when using computers and internet-connected devices.
Good quality anti-malware software is updated and allowed for free use by the providers themselves on a dedicated website. There have been more than five million approaches to the campaign after three weeks of implementation.
The Vietnam government strongly believes that ensuring safety in cyberspace will accelerate the process of national digital transformation as it is the key to a successful and sustainable digital transformation.
Spam and fake calls are a global problem that has emerged in Vietnam in recent years, a representative of the Telecommunications Department said.
According to the Telecommunications Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications, mobile network operators in Vietnam locked 34,700 subscribers that made spam calls and prevented over 9 million fake calls in the last three months.
Since July this year, network operators have blocked outgoing calls of more than 34,700 subscribers who made spam calls, including 16,288 subscribers in September 2020 alone. Additionally, network operators blocked over 9 million fake calls since July of which and 3.3 million fake calls were in September.
After network operators sent messages warning subscribers about fake calls, the proportion of subscribers answering calls made by strange numbers decreased from about 40% in June and July 2020 to below 10% at present. Reports of fake calls to the police have also dropped by 70%.
To ensure better cooperation of mobile service users, the Telecommunications Department and network operators have appealed to the wider community to work with the government and operators.
Two key UniSA research development projects that will add to the capacities of small satellites have won support in the latest round of South Australian Defence Innovation Partnership Cooperative Research Grants. UniSA secured two out of six of the grants and is a collaborator on three other grants awarded.
Research Fellow at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute (FII), Dr Kamil Zuber, says the development of freeform optics for small satellites will expand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capacity and capability for space satellites.
The emerging technology of freeform optics, where mirrors can be designed and manufactured to take on complex shapes, allows for the production large fields of view in smaller packages – which is a powerful adaptation for the new generation of small satellites that are in rapid development, Dr Zuber said.
Moreover, with the capacity to produce these mirrors via additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – this is a technology with the potential to transform the way space missions are designed.
UniSA researchers will also collaborate with DST, industry partners and the University of Adelaide to prototype and validate durable coatings for freeform optical components used for small space satellites.
Achieving a stable, durable coating in the harsh low earth orbit environment that is impervious to radiation and atomic oxygen is one of the challenges that this project aims to address, Dr Zuber noted.
The second project being led by FII Research Fellow, Associate Professor Craig Priest will address concerns in the Space Capabilities (Defence White Paper 2016) to develop satellite systems that can withstand and respond to adverse events. With several hundred small satellites launched every year, space is becoming crowded and hostile, Assoc Prof Priest said.
Satellites must be smaller, more agile, and more energy-efficient, with onboard thrust mechanisms that also have minimal hardware. Their research will be focussed on nanofluidic thrusters which can offer a solution to those challenges. And with the DST Group, the University of Adelaide, and industry partners work will focus on commercialising the devices for defence, including manufacturing and testing of prototypes.
Assoc Prof Priest participated in the University’s business incubator program for space startups, Venture Catalyst Space in 2019 which helped define his business model and connect his team to the industry.
Another two recipients of the grants, Canadian start-up and a local start-up were also both past participants of the Venture Catalyst program run by UniSA’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre. Each research development project has received $150,000 to push the frontiers of scientific knowledge in the space sector.
UniSA is also a key partner in three other successful grants awarded in the latest round of funding, boosting the University’s contribution to innovation in the defence and national security research and development.
UniSA Director Defence and Space, Matt Opie says the outcomes from this round are a testament to the University’s capability in defence and space-related research.
He noted that these collaborations will give Australia a technology edge, creating new opportunities for partnership and industrial engagement to build knowledge in defence and space science. Support for these projects contributes to a strong research base, enabled by South Australia’s nationally significant infrastructure.
Designed to generate defence-related research and development activity in South Australia between industry, universities and government, the Defence Innovation Partnership is a collaborative venture between the South Australia Government, Defence Science and Technology Group, and South Australia’s three universities.
A press release has stated Vietnam will universalise 5G through producing 5G devices with quality and reasonable prices in 2021, as developing 5G networks is one of the key directions on improving the capacity of digital infrastructure for national digital transformation.
According to the Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Manh Hung, the use of 5G handsets produced by Vietnam is a measure to help enhance network security and safety. To implement this, one of the solutions is to research and master the design and manufacture of 5G network equipment and chips.
State-run Viettel Group’s Viettel High-Tech Industries Corporation and Vingroup’s VinSmart Research and Manufacture JSC in October signed a cooperation agreement on the development of a 5G gNodeB base station system.
Earlier, the first device incorporating 5G technology produced by Vietnam was successfully tested. According to the Centre for Telecommunications Quality and Measurement under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Vsmart Aris 5G had been tested many times and gave positive results.
Through many technical tests, 5G speed on Vsmart smartphones using Sub6 band is nearly eight times higher than 4G and promises to continue to increase when VinSmart applies mmWave band in the coming time.
The successful development of the Vsmart Aris 5G smartphone shows that Vietnam is ready to master advanced technologies. This is the basis for asserting that the country can completely accelerate in the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
MIC and the Market Licensing Division of the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority also decided to shut down old-tech wavebands so that network operators can optimise operations and reserve frequency resources for new technologies.
As OpenGov reported earlier, MIC has recently allowed two mobile operators, Viettel and MobiFone, to test and commercialise 5G in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as it is a good foundation to bring Vietnam into the group of the leading countries in the world in deploying 5G.
Unlike the previous test, which was heavily technical, the target audience of this test was mobile subscribers. This is an important test to help local operators evaluate the technology and the market before officially implementing commercialization of 5G in Vietnam.
These are all concrete steps that show Vietnam’s approach to 5G development towards mass commercialisation by 2021. Mani Manimohan, head of Digital Infrastructure Policy and Regulations at GSMA, predicted that over the next 5 years, more than one billion people worldwide will use mobile data, the average consumption per month would be 4-5 times more than previously, and 5G is an effective technology to meet that need.
In addition to users, industries need 5G applications. This will be the key to the computing power and automation of factories. Also, Manihohan said that governments should see the mobile ecosystem with a scale of more than US$ 1 trillion as a driving force for development.
Meanwhile, an industry expert noted that 5G will change all industries. Manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare industries will change drastically thanks to the presence of robots and 5G information transmission systems. Vietnam possesses the essentials to develop science and information technology and is expected to become a developed economy by 2045.
At first glance, the 0.8-hectare site in Kampung Sijangkang in Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor, where red chillies grow from black polybags, looks like an ordinary vegetable farm. However, this is far from a conventional farm; it is, in reality, a “digital laboratory farm” where digital agriculture or precision farming practices are used to increase crop yields and profitability, as well as reduce fertiliser, pesticide and herbicide inputs.
The Managing Director of the company that operates the farm, is making use of an Internet of Things (IoT) smart farming application and system developed by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
The Managing Director, who has been involved in agriculture for 14 years, admitted that it was not easy for him to switch from conventional to digital farming applications but now he is convinced of its benefits. His “digital laboratory farm”, where some 6,000 red chilli plants are being cultivated using the fertigation technique, has now entered its third year of operation and the smart farming application has helped him to save time and manpower costs, as well as improve harvests.
He noted that anyone, even those in rural areas, can practice smart farming as long as they have a smartphone and Internet access. All they need to do is insert a SIM card in the sensor hub panel and monitor the cultivation process via their smartphone, he added.
IoT-based smart farming, also known as precision farming, helps farmers to optimise water, fertiliser and pesticide inputs and improve crop yield, quality and productivity by monitoring various factors such as humidity, temperature, soil conditions and fertiliser and pesticide levels on their farms or agricultural fields in real-time with the help of sensors and interconnectivity.
The Managing Director started his digital laboratory farm project by applying the smart farming application to the fertilisation system first. Its success spurred him to extend the application to pest control for which he used an automatic spraying system comprising a 137.16-meter-long railing.
His team this system effective and went on to integrate both the fertilisation and pesticide spraying systems which they controlled via the IoT application, he said, adding that the smart farming concept can benefit young agropreneurs involved in fertigation cultivations in terms of their farms’ maintenance, watering, fertilisation and pesticide application aspects.
With the use of emerging technologies such as satellites, drones, artificial intelligence and weather forecast software, farmers can determine crop types that are appropriate for cultivation on their land. This will avoid wastage and save time.
While he is still experimenting with this smart farming system, he noted that it has helped him save time and manpower costs and has given better yields too.
The IoT smart farming application, which can be downloaded on both Android and iOS smartphones, provides farm-related data that have nearly 100% accuracy. Among the data recorded by the sensors are readings pertaining to the volume of fertiliser or pesticide in the tanks, status of the irrigation pumps, humidity level and temperature, crop growth timeline, type of crop, date of cultivation and automatic harvesting and crop yield record.
The farm has 15 sensors and all the data collected from the field is stored in a cloud computing system. Data from the 15 sensors are sent to the cloud every 15 minutes. If the teams need any information on, for example, fertiliser, pesticide, temperature or humidity level, they just have to print out the required data from the list.
They can also download data from individual sensors. And, now they are developing a system that will enable access to all the data via email because it is quite time-consuming for them to download data from the cloud especially when there is too much data.
Technological collaborations with MDEC have also enabled them to activate the sensor control panel via voice commands, he added.
The Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, has launched the Green Charcoal Hackathon, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and nurture technology solutions in India.
To fast-track technology development, NVVN (NTPC VidyutVyapar Nigam), in partnership with EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited), organised this technology challenge. The purpose of which is to leverage technology and innovation to develop solutions that will lead to clean air by eliminating farm fire and producing renewable energy out of the agro residue.
According to a press release, the hackathon also aims to promote local entrepreneurship and increase the income of the country’s farmers. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister explained, “The Hackathon displays the spirit of innovation, which pervades NTPC. Any organisation has to have this spirit of innovation to grow and prosper or otherwise, it would fade away. I am sure that the NTPC management has told all young engineers that innovation and new ideas are encouraged.”
He added, “This [hackathon] is also innovation in the pursuit of reducing our carbon footprint. From that point of view, all competitors in the Hackathon should keep in mind that the process of converting this (agro residue) to charcoal should not lead to emissions. Another key thing is the commercial model, which will depend on the cost of both the machine and charcoal production. I am sure we will come out with a machine which is economical. I am happy to see the orientation of NTPC towards reducing the carbon footprint.”
Ashish Upadhyay, Additional Secretary of Power said, “The NTPC Group needs to focus on integrated and smart solutions to manage a carbon-neutral economy. I am confident that NTPC will be able to successfully implement and commercialise the technology which will benefit farmers, the environment as well as society”.
An industry expert noted that power plants are the biggest consumers of coal. Typically, a 1,000 MW plant consumes about 5 million tonnes of coal annually. India’s total coal-based power generation capacity is about 200,000 MW, which theoretically can consume approximately 1,000 million tonnes of coal annually. Even 10% of that, if replaced with green charcoal will amount to 100 million tonnes of this fuel. This will require approximately 160 million tonnes of agro residue and municipal waste (considering 60% yield), sufficient to wipe out the entire unused agro residue in the country. Thus, eliminating the farm fires and producing around 20,000 MW of renewable power.
Increasing air pollution due to the burning of stubble and agro residue by local farmers has become a major concern for the country. As a result, NVVN is looking for technologies to convert agricultural waste to a form that can be used in power plants. One such option is torrefaction, which converts the agro residue to green charcoal.
The technology to produce torrefied fuel using agro residue biomass is not easily accessible to small entrepreneurs due to the high costs of imported machines and lack of sufficient manufacturers. The technology to produce torrefied fuel using agro residue biomass, once developed in India, will be made accessible to small entrepreneurs.
To cater to the needs of the elderly in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) is developing a smart companion pet dog which can chat in Cantonese and Mandarin and can even remind the elderly to take their medicine when the Bluetooth function is enabled.
The smart pet dog is expected to be launched in phases next year and is expected to sell for less than HKD 1,500 each. Eligible local elderly and rehabilitation service units can apply to the Social Welfare Department for the “Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care” and get subsidies for their purchase.
ASTRI introduced the smart pet dog during the four-day Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit 2020 from 19 – 22 November 2020. ASTRI has been applying its cutting-edge technology and innovation to address societal pain points. This smart pet dog can support elderly care as Hong Kong faces challenges associated with an ageing population.
The project coordinator and Associate Principal Engineer at ASTRI stated that through the subsidy of Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care provided by the Social Welfare Department, ASTRI introduced the smart pet dog which originally had Japanese language capabilities to Hong Kong intending to enhance and localise it to suit the needs of the elderly here.
About 200 to 300 sets of Cantonese and Putonghua dialogues will be added to the smart pet dog so that it can “listen” to the elderly in Hong Kong and the Mainland and respond accordingly. Such a response can include caring and greeting the host, as well as greeting and talking endearingly.
At the beginning of next year, the team will collaborate with the Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service to arrange smart pet dogs to be companions for hundreds of elderly people who live alone and stay in daycare centres, community centres and elderly homes to better understand the needs of the elderly in Hong Kong and optimise their conversations.
The project coordinator said that a company has already indicated an interest in commercialising the smart pet dog. It is expected to be sold in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and other parts of China in phases from mid-2021 onwards, he added.
ASTRI will further incorporate Bluetooth functions for the smart pet dog to enhance its functionality. The caregiver will only need to enter the medication time for the elderly through a mobile app, then the smart pet dog will remind the elderly to take the medication on time and will also ask if they have taken them, and finally report back to the caregiver through the app, he said.
He also said that other organisations can develop more applications in the future based on ASTRI’s application programming interface. And through Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), one can further enhance the functions of the smart pet dog, such as continuously monitoring and analysing the responses and the speed of speech of the elderly while chatting, thus enabling social workers and family members to better understand the elderly’s health status.
Recent research shows that the global robotic pet dogs market 2019-2023 is expected to post a CAGR of close to 21% during the forecast period.
Robotic pet dogs have recently emerged as an effective way to alleviate depression, anxiety, distress, and loneliness, especially among the geriatric population. It has been observed that the regular interaction with robotic pet dogs at least thrice a week can decrease stress and anxiety. These robotic dogs are designed in such a way that they mimic most of the activities that live dogs do, such as they can wink their eyes, wag their tail, bark and many more. Thus, the adoption of robotic pet dogs is expected to increase significantly, which will drive the growth of the market during the forecast period.
The pandemic has fundamentally changed lifestyles and thought processes across the world. There is a paradigm shift in the way people now interact with each other. With social distancing becoming the new norm, citizens are increasingly becoming dependent on technology to communicate and interact among themselves.
From food delivery to shopping to banking, people are using apps on their mobile phones to get things done. And with it, people are getting used to the rapid and seamless service delivery businesses offer; to the point that they now expect governments to provide a similar experience.
However, delivering on such expectations can be quite challenging for the public sector as they must strike an intricate balance between the speed/experience of service delivery versus data security.
In order to help public sector utilise digital applications and APIs to enhance service delivery and get digital transformation right, OpenGov Asia hosted an OpenGovLive! Virtual Breakfast Insight with delegates from various public sector organisations in Indonesia.
Governments need to strike the balance between the speed of service delivery and security
Mohit Sagar, Group Managing Director, and Editor-in-Chief at OpenGov Asia laid the foundation for the discussions at hand.
He highlighted the fact that public services have never been under such pressure as they have been over the past few months. Further, he pointed out that due to the deeply ingrained legacy systems and lack of proper infrastructure, governments often struggle to provide the digital experience that customers have come to expect.
All of this has brought forward renewed demand for digital government services where they not only have to deliver at a certain speed but also ensure the security of data. On the same note, Mohit emphasised that security must be thought of as an intrinsic feature of applications rather than as a barrier.
Many agencies across local and central government are collaborating through open APIs to meet the ever-increasing need for data and connectivity. He acknowledged that APIs have become the foundational building block and a crucial element for any organisation undergoing digital transformation.
In conclusion, Mohit advised all the delegates to find partners who are smart, stable and reliable who will help strengthen their digital transformation and applications while ensuring the safety of their data.
The world is becoming more and more digital in its interactions
After Mohit’s opening presentation, Scott Van Kalken, DevOps Solution Architect, F5, shared his insights with the delegates.
Scott began by highlighting how the way people interact with each other has changed in today’s digital world. The primary mode of their interaction is through multiple apps on their mobile phones. Be it for food or transportation, everything is just a click away.
He underscored this proposition with the recent example of COVID-19 apps that have helped citizens remain informed and safe during the pandemic.
Today’s digital citizens are getting so used to the convenience of the apps that they are increasingly demanding a similar experience in their interactions with the government. Enabling such a seamless digital experience can be quite challenging for governments as they not only need to share the relevant data with the public but have to ensure that it is protected in a secure manner.
He backed his opinion by sharing some numbers from a recent report that confirmed, through surveys, that security is the top concern for organisations across the board.
Moreover, governments understand that building an app is not enough and delivering the experience is equally important. In the same vein, he also explained how governments around the world are starting to embrace digital transformation to enhance citizen experience. The Indonesian COVID-19 app and digital medicare card in Australia are excellent examples of the convenience of interacting with the government.
Scoot went on to share another challenge faced by the governments i.e., which of the available technologies should they use to serve their citizens in a safe environment. The right strategy and choice would need to secure all the right components to deliver effectively.
The four important pillars that determine the API design in an organisation
After Scott’s informative presentation, Sabine Deloffre, Principal Product Manager at Service NSW shared her perspectives with the delegates.
After briefly introducing her organisation, Sabine shared that they are focused on accelerating digital transformation using APIs to make services more effective, seamless and intuitive.
She explained that they began on this journey with strong endorsements from the advocates of APIs intending to synchronise information scattered across different departments.
Sabine spoke about the 6 major drivers behind using APIs:
- Be an agile organisation
- Expose functionalities
- Share data easily
- Be more observable
- Defend and secure
- Scale and expand services
After expounding about the major drivers, she talked about the 4 pillars that become important considerations for an organisation’s API design:
- Autonomous: This pillar stands to ensure that the API design lets the organisation operate with agility as an independent body
- Enablement: Once the API design has been done, the next important thing is to ensure that there are dedicated teams to support, coach, and share the knowledge for smooth implementation of the API design
- Support: Ensuring that there is enough environment, platform, and security support for the applications to enable seamless delivery
- Governance: A centralised governance to maintain consistency and security for API practices across all teams
Sabine concluded her presentation by emphasising the criticality of the 4 pillars and the need for them to align for an organisation to deliver effectively to the citizens.
After the presentations, it was time to interact with the virtual audience through an insightful polling session.
On the first question about the main challenge in moving towards application deployment, the majority of the delegates voted for culture (32%) and ageing infrastructure (32%).
A delegate reflected that while developing applications, organisations consider technology, people and processes, but often processes get overlooked making deployment of application very complicated. This becomes a major challenge.
On the next question about the current application development infrastructure to address a seamless user experience, most of the audience voted for modern with containerised environments and agile workflows with security on all layers (65%).
Another senior delegate reflected that they are using modern applications at a micro-level in their organisation but cannot call themselves a fully digital organisation, as there are still some legacy systems in place which will transform over time.
On the final question about their organisation’s level of API security, half of the room voted that they are 75% on track with missing components on visibility and monitoring (50%).
A participant opined that it is very difficult to address the issue of security and to say with certainty that they are 100% secure. But because his organisation has the right protection and precautions in place, he voted for the above option.
After the interactive polling session, Surung Sinamo, Country Manager for F5 Indonesia addressed the audience with closing remarks.
Surung reiterated that the world today has gone digital and consequently the public sector is facing two main challenges: meeting the demands of the digital citizens seamlessly and ensuring the security of the data they harbour.
He shared that at F5, they believe in ingraining security in all solutions and make the right tools available to monitor security. In conclusion, Surung urged the delegates to reach out to him and his team in Indonesia who would be happy to partner with them.
Singapore has facilitated crew change for more than 60,000 crew of different nationalities from more than 3,500 ships. This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Mr Chee Hong Tat when he opened the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) International Safety@Sea Webinar Series yesterday.
The International Safety@Sea event is organised annually by MPA for members of the international maritime community and practitioners to provide updates on issues pertaining to safety at sea, actively share best practices and experiences on maritime safety, as well as discuss issues of concern and offer problem-solving ideas.
One of the main points Mr Chee made was on the important role technology plays as Singapore moves to Phase 2 of its Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC).
The Crew Facilitation Centre in Singapore will be a Centre of Excellence for Crew Change Protocols to test-bed emerging technologies that support safer crew change procedures. These improved procedures will be published so as to share Singapore’s best practices with other ports.
Digital Solutions to Assist Crew Changes
A task force led by the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), comprising members from MPA, Singapore Maritime Officer’s Union and the Singapore Organisation of Seamen, has also been formed to work with stakeholders in the maritime industry on solutions for safe crew change under the SG-STAR Fund.
The taskforce has shortlisted two digital solutions companies – KaHa and Viatick – under a trial programme to provide wearables digital solutions that support overseas crew change processes such as quarantine and health monitoring. Both solutions are tamper-proof, smart wearable technologies, where companies can have better assurance in ensuring that seafarers had adhered to their quarantine requirements in their home country before leaving for Singapore for a crew change.
Launch of Phase 1 of Singapore’s national marine spatial data infrastructure
At the event, Mr Chee also announced the launch of Phase 1 of GeoSpace-Sea, Singapore’s national marine spatial data infrastructure, that integrates and shares authoritative marine and coastal spatial data and information from various sources and disciplines, creating the first-ever comprehensive picture of Singapore’s sea space.
The GeoSpace-Sea web portal will be accessible by participating government agencies in Singapore to begin with.
Subsequently, GeoSpace-Sea will be made available to more users from the public including academia, research institutions and industry so that end-user applications can be built using its data.
GeoSpace-Sea will support and enable solutions to tackle complex problems and future challenges in areas such as maritime safety, marine coastal spatial planning, climate change and environmental sustainability.
The second day of the event, taking place today- 1 December will feature three plenaries on the topics of “Mental Health & Wellness: Helping Seafarers Cope Better During a Pandemic”, “Ship Safety: Reflecting on Incidents, Causality and the Way Forward”, and “Ship Management: Lessons Learnt for Safety & Standards in the New Normal”.