Jessica “Zhanna” Malekos Smith

Jessica ‘Zhanna’ Malekos Smith, J.D., is the Reuben Everett Cyber Scholar at Duke University Law School. Previously, she served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Prior to military service, Zhanna was a post-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center’s Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has presented her research at DEF CON, RSA, and ShmooCon, among others.

Zhanna’s presentation at DEF CON 2019 was praised as one of the best talks of the conference!

The Cyberlous Mrs. Maisel: A Comedic (and slightly terrifying) Introduction to Information Warfare

Like a dear family relative who won’t stop talking at Thanksgiving dinner, a backdoor exploit also talks to anyone who’ll listen. Come listen to the Cyberlous Mrs. Maisel! She’ll offer a satirical reflection on how we engage with technology in the Information Age and explain the basic historical principles that animate Russia’s approach to information warfare. Topics covered include maskirovka (i.e., camouflage, concealment and deception), disinformation, and reflexive control, among others. Although a strategic objective of information warfare is to induce complacency with falsehoods, this presentation’s unique style can help jolt the public’s consciousness awake through its originality and bite.

For more information about the historical strategies employed in disinformation campaigns, please see the article, “The Magpies and the Cuckoos,” written by the presenter and published in Defense One in July of this year.