APCERT AGM & Conference 2019 in Singapore

Hi, this is Yuka again from Global Coordination Division.

We came back from Singapore after APCERT AGM & Conference (held on 29 Sep – 2 Oct 2019), which was a great success. Today I am giving you some updates about the event.

APCERT Annual General Meeting & Conference 2019

APCERT AGM & Conference 2019

This is literally the biggest and most important event for APCERT community in a year. This time, it was hosted by SingCERT (sponsored by CSA), back to back with Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW), which is one of the major cyber security events in Asia. The APCERT AGM & Conference is a four-day event including the following sessions:

  • 29 Sep: Steering Committee Meeting / Working Group meetings
  • 30 Sep: Training Workshop (APNIC) / Closed Conference
  • 1 Oct: Annual General Meeting / Team Building event
  • 2 Oct: Open Conference

On the first day, 7 Steering Committee members gathered to discuss operational matters of APCERT and finalised the preparation for the week ahead. The conference was opened to the entire members with the Working Group meetings, where each WG convener presented the outcome of the activity in the previous year. In the Gala Dinner, SingCERT welcomed us with the outstanding drum music by a local performing group. The second day was opened by a training session on honeypot techniques led by APNIC, followed by Closed Conference, where APCERT members presented the outcomes of the recent technical activities and findings.

JPCERT/CC’s presentation

In the Closed Conference, our Vulnerability Analyst Keisuke Saeki delivered a presentation about JPCERT/CC’s effort to enhance information sharing with domestic constituencies. JPCERT/CC operates a closed portal site CISTA (Collective Intelligence Station for Trusted Advocates) and shares early warning information with their constituencies including critical infrastructure operators. This portal site was recently updated with an automated malware analysis feature which allows users to upload suspicious files they received. Keisuke presented the advantages of this new feature, explaining how it motivates portal users to share information with other users and how effectively this has been used in the past year.

Annual General Meeting

This is the most important session in the week. After reviewing the activities of APCERT as a whole and those by each SC member, there was a MOU signing ceremony with our new partners, Panasonic PSIRT (a Corporate Partner), AfricaCERT (a Strategic Partner in process) and FSI-CERT in Korea (a Liaison Partner).

In the closed session of the AGM, the Steering Committee election for the term 2019-20 was conducted. JPCERT/CC as well as CyberSecurity Malaysia have been re-elected. In addition, Sri Lanka CERT|CC joined the Steering Committee for the first time. (ACSC, CNCERT/CC, KrCERT/CC and TWNCERT will remain until 2020.) CyberSecurity Malaysia was elected as Chair of APCERT, and CNCERT/CC as Deputy Chair. It is worth to mention that the ACSC, who had been Chair since 2015, stepped down from the position after completing the 4 terms of chairmanship. (4-term is the term limits according to the Operational Framework). As Chair, ACSC made a great contribution to APCERT community, leading the creation of new membership/partnership categorisation, bringing the Pacific Island community into APCERT through PacSON project, with their strong and generous leadership. We appreciate ACSC’s long-term contribution in this regard and look forward to continuing the way ahead with the new Chair, CyberSecurity Malaysia. JPCERT/CC was also reappointed as Secretariat and will make every effort to support APCERT community.

Open Conference and SICW

The 4th day session was held in Suntec Convention Center, right next to the SICW sessions. Experts from APCERT member teams and other organisations provided technical insights on a wide range of topics, including cyber exercises and trainings, IoT security landscape, incident detection using machine learning, etc. Presentation materials are available on the website.

APCERT participants also had an opportunity to look around the SICW exhibitions. The event had a great atmosphere with a range of guests from different parts of the world and different cyber security related industries. We could feel Singapore’s enthusiasm and strength in this area.

SingCERT colleagues did a marvellous and flawless job in organising and running this 4-day conference, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for their kind hospitality. This was my 6th APCERT Conference, and each event has a different flavour in it. I can say it was another great conference, and definitely I look forward to meeting the members and partners again next year in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Thanks for reading.
 - Yukako Uchida