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Technology transfer forum goes top secret

Craig Francis

The Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) introduced the latest developments in data security and encryption technology at a forum on 15 January at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

An audience of industry professionals heard Mr Wong Hon-yee, Associate Vice-President (Knowledge Transfer), introduce three speakers to discuss the existing and potential applications of three diverse security and encryption techniques.

Dr Cheng Lee-ming, Associate Professor, Department of Electronic Engineering, outlined the latest advances in digital watermark chips. Dr Duncan Wong Shek, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science, described his latest software development in regard to secure mobile messaging and email without personal certificate. Dr Wong Kwok-wo, Associate Professor, Department of Electronic Engineering, discussed the integration of data compression with encryption, a chaos-based image encryption method designed for real-time image and video communications.

“The rapid advancement of technologies for digital scanners, digital cameras and digital video recorders has created a huge market for digital multimedia content such as digital documents, photos and videos, as well as related services in content storage, retrieval and reproduction,” said Dr Cheng. His digital watermark chip would counter the threat of forgeries of digital documents by generating a strong watermark that can withstand most digital filtering and processing techniques.

Dr Duncan Wong has devised a software tool that allows users to send and receive encrypted SMS messages. “It provides end-to-end protection of your SMS messages, which could be encrypted during transmission and storage,” he explained. Users would be able to shift easily between the plain SMS mode and secure SMS mode according to their needs.

Dr Duncan Wong said his encryption software could prevent SMS information being eavesdropped or logged during transmission or read by unwanted eyes should a mobile phone or device be stolen. SMS-based security was of particular importance to banks, law enforcement agencies and other security-related business sectors.

Dr Wong Kwok-wo’s chaos-based encryption method is designed for image and video communications, targeting internet-based applications such as teleconferencing. “Compared with other conventional products, this product is fast, lean, secure and cost-effective,” said Dr Wong Kwok-wo. “Small and light, the encryption tool is applicable to most handheld and portable devices.”

The Knowledge Transfer Office organises frequent forums to help disseminate mature CityU technologies to local industry for the advancement of Hong Kong and the region. Some of the participants are members of the CityU Business and Industrial Club, launched by the Technology Transfer Office in 1993 and still run by KTO.