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29 May 2015

CyCon session overviews May 28

Defending the Nation in Cyberspace
As with most threats, the question is how armed forces can support civilian organizations. What is generally accepted is that the armed forces play a limited role in this and should only act dam instrument of last resort. As the military is developing cyber capabilities it is important to see how these can be used to support civil authorities in crisis management, especially on issues such as information sharing and critical infrastructure protection.

Decision-Making and Artificial Intelligence
Decision-Making and Artificial Intelligence session nicely built upon Wednesday's Situational Awareness discussions. The speakers outlined how artificial intelligence has been used for making sense of big data, especially in assisting decision-making where timeliness of the information is of key importance. The sessions also discussed the pros and cons of using AI for operating autonomous weapon systems and vehicles.

Challenges to International Cooperation in Fighting Cyber Crime
The question is whether states need to surrender sovereignty to make international cooperation work and have greater control over the cyberspace. Mr Orju said that the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection does not provide an adequate framework for cooperation and thus encourages safe havens for cybercrime. We need to take into account the important role of service providers, develop more effective cooperation mechanisms and invest in capacity building.

Influence Operations
Professor Gere discussed propaganda and pointed out that countering it is not counter-propaganda. He elaborated on the importance of having the initiative, since countering the message is always harder, even if trying to convey the truth. Mr Brose elaborated on Netwar. According to him the aspect of Netwar is neglected. Mr Armistead discussed modelling information operations. He discussed top-down and bottom-up models, as well as the benefits and drawbacks in both.

Security and Privacy of Smartphones
The technical session on Security and Privacy of Smartphones debated over various reasons for attacking mobile devices. The session revealed the latest developments in the field of mobile malware. Although mobile malware and various hacking tools are malicious in essence, the session also discussed how malware can be used by law enforcement for surveillance and gathering evidence.

Serious Games
Games are excellent tools for teaching people, especially in the field Cyber Security. The session discussed gamification as the means of taking teaching to a new level. The bottom line is that Serious Games are already here, however, there is a need to develop this field further to deliver the serious games to much larger audiences.

Surveillance
While Europe and US have differing views on the right to privacy, the Snowden revelations had an ephemeral impact on the general public on either side of the Atlantic. As for international law, a more prohibitive view of foreign spying has been gaining support. Transparency should be an important part of future legal framework regarding surveillance. However, we are not there yet when pri-vacy would be universally protected by human rights law.

Student Awards
Two theses were presented in CyCon 2015 Student Awards finals. Both of the presentations, “Designing Information Secure Networks with Graph Theory” by Visa Vallivaara and “Prometheus: A Web-basedPlatform for Analysing Banking Trojans” by Andrea Braschi and Andrea Continella raised lots of questions. The results of the Student Award shall be announced on Friday morning.

These overviews are for informational purposes only. Conference proceedings are available as a publication. Videos and presentations will be published on www.cycon.org later in the year.