The Beginner’s Guide to the Musical Scales of Cyberwar

Presented at ShmooCon XV (2019), Jan. 19, 2019, 10 a.m. (60 minutes)

Whether you have a background in technology, law, academia, or national security, this talk is a beginner’s guide to understanding the law of war in cyberspace. By juxtaposing the law of war with a keyboard, the process of how states evaluate the scale and effects of a cyber operation and determine a basis for resorting to a use of force under the Law of Armed Conflict can be more readily conceptualized. For if music is indeed the universal language of mankind then by encouraging society to learn about this area, we can collectively better strategize ways to mitigate cyber conflict.


  • Jessica ‘Zhanna’ Malekos Smith
    Jessica ‘Zhanna’ Malekos Smith, is the inaugural 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, Malekos Smith was a post-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center’s Cyber Security Project at the Harvard Kennedy School. She holds a J.D. from the University of California, Davis; a B.A. from Wellesley College, where she was a Fellow of the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs; and is finishing her M.A. with the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Malekos Smith has presented her research at DEF CON, RSA, and NextGen@ICANN and has been published in the Harvard Kennedy School Review, Defense One, and The Cipher Brief, among others.

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