Study Trip to Russia

Twenty-one students from the diplomas in Cyber & Digital Security and Digital Forensics participated in a study trip to Russia from 17 – 24 July 2018. They were accompanied by their lecturer, Mr Percy Wong. The trip came about as  follow-up to a collaboration between Temasek Polytechnic and Kaspersky Lab which is a multinational cybersecurity company that has its headquarters in Russia. The trip was exciting, enriching and deeply memorable for the students.

Sharing by Varrick Koh (from the Diploma in Digital Forensics):
On our commute from the Moscow Domodedovo Airport to our place of stay, Slavyanka Hotel, I was immediately amazed by the architecture on the streets. We were almost always surrounded by seemingly endless blocks of housing, yet the streets were wide enough that it didn’t make us feel claustrophobic. For example, we passed by Tverskaya Street, where there were a block of buildings located there which had literally been lifted with jacks and moved to allow for wider streets. Every building block had their own long and unique history.

When we visited the Kaspersky Lab on our second day, we were hosted by Mr Denis Makrushin, who is a cyber threats expert. He gave a talk on the Internet of Things (IoT) Security and how insecure medical equipment in hospitals were. I found the talk so thought-provoking that I did more research on the topic myself, and later turned it into an idea for my Major Project.

During our trip, we passed many metro stations, but it was only on the last day that we had a chance to board the train. From the outside, every metro station looked grand and modern, with the entrance to the Novoslobodskaya metro station resembling a miniature Lincoln Memorial. On our metro ride, we alighted at a few different stations, namely the Kiyevskaya, Smolenskaya, and Aleksandrovsky Sad station. Every station had its own theme and design, and told a different story about Russian history, with sculptures that dotted the stations. For example, a bas-relief at Smolenskaya depicted solders of the Red Army in battle. It was interesting how designers managed to conjure such a modern design while incorporating historical stories.

Another student, Dian Maisara (from the Diploma in Digital Forensics), had the following to share: What I found most interesting about my study trip was the interactions I had with the people I met. These included the interns at Kaspersky Lab, the speakers at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and the Moscow Polytechnic University (MPU). For instance, I met Eugenia Ustinova, a Kaspersky intern, who was a humanities major and decided to try her hand at something new. She is now writing security incident reports for international clients. We met researchers who dived into studying the Amazon robots’ sorting algorithms and came up with more efficient algorithms. This balance between reinventing the wheel yet not being afraid to innovate and explore new things impressed me deeply.

The students also visited places like the Kremlin, the Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral, the Victory Museum and Bunker 42. They felt deeply privileged to have had the rich experience of learning and experiencing life and culture in Russia.

Visit to the Kaspersky Lab headquarters in Moscow. Kaspersky is a leader in cyber threat analysis and solutions.

In front of St Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square

At the entrance to Moscow Polytechnic University

In front of a fresco in Kievskaya station inside Moscow Metro