The Misinformation Village features lightning talks, workshops and fireside chats from a diverse list of speakers, first-time DEFCON attendees and returning champions. We seek to define, identify, understand, address, and combat misinformation, as well as strengthen online content credibility and information quality. The talk sessions present a comprehensive overview of misinformation tactics, current campaigns, potential methods for defense and inoculation, and discussions of current and future campaigns.
Ahmed is the visionary, chair and programme lead behind the Misinformation Village and this event. He is a global convener of multistakeholder voices on the subjects of information integrity online, on social platforms, societal cohesion and trust in new emerging technologies and institutions.
A systems engineer by training, he has taken the role of community organizer leader in past years demonstrating a robust combination of strategic leadership in the non-profit world, operational prowess, fundraising and strategic partnerships development. Ahmed has organized and chaired several global conferences in academia, industry, and civil society about trust online and disinformation. \
Caroline Orr Bueno
Dr. Caroline Orr Bueno is a behavioral scientist and postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maryland (UMD). Her work focuses on cognitive security, with a particular emphasis on disinformation, influence operations, risk communication, and the use of social media as a crisis communications tool. Before joining UMD, Dr. Orr Bueno completed her PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University, where her research focused on behavior change theory. Dr. Orr Bueno also has years of experience working as a journalist and research analyst covering disinformation and extremism.
Dr. Matthew Canham
Dr. Matthew Canham is the CEO of Beyond Layer Seven, a company dedicated to understanding and addressing the human element in cybersecurity. In addition to his primary role, Dr. Canham is also an affiliated faculty member at George Mason University where his research focuses on human susceptibility to mis-dis-mal (MDM) information operations and remote online social engineering attacks. He holds a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and he is a certified digital forensics examiner and mobile device security analyst.
Jessica Dheere is the Director of Ranking Digital Rights. She is the founder, former executive director, and board member of SMEX, the Middle East’s leading digital rights research and advocacy organization. As a 2018–19 research fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, she launched the CYRILLA Collaborative. She is also a member of the 2019-20 class of Technology and Human Rights Fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Dheere has presented at the Internet Governance Forum, the Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and Diplomacy, RightsCon, and the International Journalism Festival.
Paula González Nagore is an Intelligence Analyst specialized in OSINT and SOCMINT investigations and Cyber Intelligence. She currently works in the private sector conducting Digital Footprint, Digital Surveillance and Competitive Intelligence investigations. She also collaborates with different public and educational institutions to investigate disinformation and its effects, as well as the digital tools that are used today to develop disinformation campaigns and fake news in digital media and social networks.
Zhouhan Chen received his Ph.D. in
Data Science from NYU. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis with a focus on how misinformation spreads across multiple platforms. He currently building two projects with his Ph.D. advisors: Information Tracer, a platform to detect (mis)disinformation across social media platforms, and Malware Discoverer, a proactive system to discover malicious URL redirection campaigns. His systems are used by researchers, journalists and security analysts.
Prof. Carlos Galán
Prof. Carlos Galán is a university professor and lawyer specialising in International Relations, Hybrid Threats, Disinformation, Privacy and Cybersecurity. He has worked in several public and private sector institutions, such as the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute. Author of numerous articles on these topics in various academic, professional and think tanks, he has been part of the European Parliament's research team for the project "Strategic communications as a key factor in countering hybrid threats".
Adam S. Hickey is a Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division (NSD) at the Department of Justice (DOJ), overseeing the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section and the Foreign Investment Review Section. Among other things, he supervises investigations and prosecutions of foreign, state-sponsored computer intrusions and attacks, enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and NSD’s foreign investment security reviews (e.g., CFIUS work). Previously, Hickey prosecuted terrorism cases and was Deputy Chief of Appeals in the Southern District of New York. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School.
Jennifer Mathieu, PhD, is Chief Technology Officer at Graphika. She brings extensive experience building robust, integrated, cloud-based solutions to the company, enabling customers to tackle the threat of disinformation. Jennifer is responsible for guiding the company’s technology vision, continuing the evolution of Graphika’s patented technology, strengthening its core products, and building out the company’s team of expert engineers and architects.
Dr. Preslav Nakov
Dr. Preslav Nakov is Professor at Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and Secretary of the Truth and Trust Online board. Previously, at QCRI, he led the Tanbih mega-project, developed in collaboration with MIT, which aims to limit the impact of "fake news", propaganda and media bias by making users aware of what they are reading, thus promoting media literacy and critical thinking.
Swapneel Mehta is a Ph.D. student at NYU Data Science working with the Center for Social Media and Politics and collaborating with researchers at Oxford University. His research deals with controlling misinformation on social networks using tools from simulation-based inference and causality, using probabilistic programs to simulate user behavior and information propagation on social networks. He is also a co-founder of SimPPL, a non-profit venture to support independent local journalists and local news understand and cater to their digital audiences, the founder and leader at Unicode Research, and recently taught a Google-backed independent ML Summer Course.
Arikia Millikan is an American journalist and publisher living in Berlin. Her work has appeared in WIRED, VICE, National Geographic, and more, and combines deep research with the art of the interview to bring a humanistic perspective to technology reporting. She is the founder of CTRL+X, a consultancy providing editorial strategy, production oversight and talent acquisition to independent publishers and startups. Her areas of focus include biotechnology, venture capital, telemedicine, teletherapy, femtech, cybersecurity, and mixed reality media.
Burninator was a software engineer, bot developer and hobbyist hacker before becoming an appsec redteamer in 2018, and has been hacking all the things since high school.
Luke Richard (Wbbigdave)
Luke Richards has many years of experience in IT and cyber security, having built corporate networks and complex applications, through to running threat intelligence and incident response for organizations across the globe. Recently his focus has been trends in cyber security, information intelligence and how these relate to real world events.
Justin Rhinehart is a Senior Security Analyst. In his spare time, he enjoys doing security research and bug bounty with his friends, as well as creating security-related content. Additionally, he has lectured on cybersecurity at the University of Guadalajara, been featured in both Dark Reading and Ars Technica, volunteered in the Virtual and Western Regions of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, and has served on the board of three non-profit organizations focused on giving back to his local community.
Gina Rosenthal has worked for the big infrastructure companies for many years. She helped start social media programs in those companies, and has always fought for people over stats. She also was an activist in college, helping found the American Indian Student Union at a big football school that has a native mascot. When she started her company, part of what she intended to do was help people understand what it means to have digital literacy.
Jenna Sherman, MPH, is a Program Manager for Meedan’s Digital Health Lab, an initiative focused on addressing the urgent challenges around health information equity online. She has her MPH from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health and a focus on social epidemiology. Her work on gendered health misinformation has been featured in publications including Scientific American, The Washington Post, and Al Jazeera.
SJ Terp applies information security practices to defend against disinformation and other online harms, including extremism. She has run large incident responses, set up response systems for election- and health-based cognitive security around the world, advises companies on disinformation risk management, and has built a body of research and tools for running and operating cognitive security operations centres, including the DISARM (formerly AMITT) frameworks for rapidly sharing disinformation data. She teaches cybersecurity and cognitive security at the University of Maryland.
Uchi is a builder who loves building things especially at Hackathon. Currently, he is the Director of Developer Relations at Coil where he is leading Coil's strategy for developer engagement globally and building a community around Web Monetization, Interledger, and Coil's products globally.
As Senior Manager of Threat Intelligence, Ryan is responsible for demystifying the Threat Landscape for eSentire's Threat Response Unit. His goal is to detect and respond to threats before they become risks to eSentire's client base. Prior to eSentire, Ryan spent three years at Deloitte helping build, develop, and establish a Threat Intelligence & Analytics team. Ryan holds a BA in Political Science & History from Wilfrid Laurier University, a MSc in Counter-Terrorism from the University of Central Lancashire where he conducted primary research on individuals perceptions of terrorism through Social Media, and a Master's degree from the University of Waterloo. He is a GIAC Certified Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst.
Rhyner Washburn is the Cyber Intelligence Researcher of the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division (UWT) of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), headquartered at the University of Maryland, where he manages and conducts research projects spanning across a broad range of international security, terrorism, and cybersecurity topics. His expertise includes, but not limited to multi-domain operations; critical infrastructure security; cybercrime; influence operations; online extremism; terrorist use of cyber domain; and countering insider threats.
AGENDA FOR MISINFORMATION VILLAGE 2022
Times are US Pacific Time
Friday, August 12, 2022
10:30 - 11:30: The Hybrid Strategies of Autocratic States: Narrative Characteristics of Disinformation Campaigns in Relation To Issues of a Scientific-Health Nature - Workshop with Carlos Galán [Slides]
11:30 - 13:30: Academic Integration (Lightning Talks)
Cognitive Security: Human Vulnerabilities, ExSploits, & TTPs - Matthew Canham (Beyond Layer Seven) [Slides]
Detecting the "Fake News" Before It Was Even Written, Media Literacy, and Flattening the Curve of the COVID-19 Infodemic - Preslav Nakov (Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence)
Uncovering Multi-platform Misinformation Campaigns with Information Tracer - Zhouhan Chen (New York University) [Slides]
SimPPL: Simulating Social Networks and Disinformation - Swapneel Mehta (New York University) [Slides]
13:30 - 14:00: Break14:30 - 16:00: Fireside Chat with Jennifer Matthieu (Graphika) and Adam Hickey (US Department of Justice)16:00 - 17:00: Lightning Talks
Tracking Scams and Disinformation by Hacking Link Shorteners - Justin Rheinhart and Sam Curry (Pillsade Consulting)
History of Russian Cyber & Information Warfare (2007 - Present) - Ryan Westman (E-Sentire) [Slides]
History of the Weaponization of Social Media - Gina Rosenthal (Independent) [Slides]
Information Confrontation 2022: A Loud War and a Quiet Enemy - Luke Richards (Independent)
Saturday, August 13, 2022
10:00 - 10:45: Tools for Fighting Disinformation - Workshop with Preslav Nakov - Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence)
10:45 - 12:30: Mass Disinformation Operations: How to Detect and Assess Ops with OSINT and SOCMINT Tools and Techniques - Workshop with Paula González [Slides]
12:30 - 13:15: Cognitive Security in Theory and Practice - Workshop with Sara-Jayne Terp [Slides]
13:15 - 14:15: Break
14:15 - 15:45: Talks and Demos
15:45 - 16:15: Guest Speaker Jessica Dheere (Ranking Digital Rights)16:15 - 16:45: Not Feeling Yourself: User Spoofing and Other Disinformation Exploits - Burninator [Slides]16:45 - 17:15 The Television News Visual Explorer: Cataloging Visual Narratives & Lending Context
Memory Holing and the SEO Warping of Human History - Arikia Milikan (Journalist, Media Consultant)
Web Monetization: A Privacy-Preserving and Open Way to Earn from Content - Tech Demo with Uchi Uchibeke (Coil) [Slides]
Fireside Chat with Arikia Milikan and Uchi Uchibeke
Kalev Leetaru (Founder, GDELT Project) [Watch Video]