Hackers For Good, Gathering Stakeholders To Find Answers To Cyberspace Challenges 18/09/2018 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)For a number of people, the word hacker means bad news. However, if some hackers have malevolent intentions, there are also hackers for good, and their skills were put to the challenge last week as they tried to save a fictitious city fallen into the hands of a group of cyber terrorists. The challenge was part of a two-day event organised by a young Geneva-based non-governmental organisation seeking to raise awareness about digital trust and bring accountability to cyberspace. Hackers for good in Switzerland In a world where everything tends to be hyper-connected, where privacy issues make the headline more often than not, the hacking community is seeking to bring attention on the growing challenges of the cyberspace and encourage collaborations between stakeholders. ICON 2018, “The journey to digital trust” took place on 13-14 September. Beyond the hacking community, the event brought together a number of stakeholders to a roundtable discussion. Workshops were also organised to prepare a conference at the end of next year. ICON is an NGO bringing together a European community working on trust in the cyberspace, according to its website. They explain their aim as bringing about a “conscious reaction” through vulgarisation and decoding of the information for civil society. According to Lennig Pedron, president of ICON, the NGO was created a year ago, but the ICON community has been a reality for some years. It started as a community of hackers aware of what is happening in cyber security and digital trust, she told Intellectual Property Watch. “It is very complicated today to understand what is going on,” she said. Critical infrastructures of countries are linked to the internet. Everybody uses social networks, and young generations starting on social networks do not know how to manage them, she added. Digital trust is like a child entering adolescence, she said, and humans have to remain the beneficiary of the cyberspace. ICON2018 works on three main pillars, she said: strategic, tactical, and operational. The strategic side was embodied by a roundtable with about 25 stakeholders. The United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation, co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, Alibaba’s executive chairman, was presented during the roundtable, according to Pedron. It was also attended by representatives of the city of Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the UN International Telecommunication Union, Microsoft, Lausanne and Zurich universities, and civil society, Pedron said. The tactical side of ICON2018 was fulfilled by four workshops on 14 September: on health, finance, education, and mobility and transport. Finally, the operational side was implemented through the hackers’ challenge, which showed that hackers can collaborate and are ready to train others, she said. “That is part of the ADN of ICON,” Pedron said, referring to a hacking community. “We share what we have.” The main message of ICON2018 to policymakers, she said, is the urgent need to move forward and do something about cyber security. ICON2018 acts as a kickoff, and allowed people to meet. Trust builds, and it starts by creating an environment where people can meet, she said. “Join us,” Pedron called to policymakers. “Come see what we are doing.” Education is a big part of what needs to happen, she said, as young generations need protection against the social pressure of being displayed every day, everywhere. Open Source, IP Protection – Both Needed A new tool is about to be launched by ICON, according to Pedron, that will allow everyone to check dubious links. It will be open source, but ICON will not disclose its dataset. Anyone who wants to build on the application is more than welcome, she stressed. Open source is part of the hacking community ADN, she explained, citing as an example the work of ICON co-founder and technical director, Aris Adamantiadis, who created Libssh, a library enabling developers to programme using the SSH protocol. Libssh is open source; the SSH protocol is used for secure remote login from one computer to another computer. All ICON products are open source, she said, but ICON also serves as an incubator for start-ups and in that context, intellectual property is part of the start-up strategy. Hackers’ Challenge: Save “Noci” Hackers try to reclaim control of Noci, the fictitious city fallen into the hands of cyber terrorists According to Adamantiadis, six teams of 4-5 hackers were trying to regain control of ultra-connected fictional city Noci after a cyber attack. Team members came from different places in Europe. One or two challenges were set for each strategic building, such as the town hall, the radio station, and the airport. Separately, an artificial intelligence challenge was going on. Participants had to write an algorithm to allow cars to get nuclear fuel Underneath Noci. Finally, Adamantiadis told Intellectual Property Watch, there was a governance component to the challenge, including crisis management, steps, and actions to be taken. To the question of whether there is any kind of international response in an eventuality of a global cyber attack, Adamantiadis said the current system is not necessarily well-honed and connecting people together to create such response is one of ICON’s missions. Digital Health, Securing Supply Chains One of the workshops taking place on 14 September focused on digital health and in particular which kind of oversight would be necessary throughout supply chains. According to the two moderators of the workshop, one of the goals of the workshop was to map topics that are relevant and interesting to participants to make recommendations on priority areas for a conference foreseen to be taking place at the end of 2019. There is a lack of process, structures, standards, and oversight for all actors in the digital health supply chain, they told Intellectual Property Watch. There is a need for a multi-stakeholder approach to oversight in digital health, they said, adding that digital technology does not recognise borders. Only the consent in the supply chain can be defined within borders and then expanded between the people who are feeding the digital health ecosystem, they said. The digital health ecosystem is fed by different actors in the chain, they said. Those include: the information providers, which are often patients; manufacturers of devices; carriers of that data, which could be phone or internet providers; infrastructure; and companies, according to the moderators. Digital health is everything that has some sort of electronic component or dimension, they explained. It could be a database of records, the use of devices like insulin pens or respiratory inhalers, tablets with electronics in them, or smart packaging, all of which are providing an electronic signature in a health environment. Image Credits: MCI Group and Team Reporters Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."Hackers For Good, Gathering Stakeholders To Find Answers To Cyberspace Challenges" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.