When we think about cyberattacks, it’s easy to think about a handful of dark individuals sitting in the shadows trying to break into high-profile computer systems. Unfortunately, that’s not really how it happens. There are lots of people trying to break into computer systems. LOTS of them. And they’re not all trying to break into the American military or NASA, often any old computer system will be interesting enough. And they’re not even doing it themselves – they’re using massive networks of computers, often ones broken into and co-opted for the job to break into other computers to try to avoid detection.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to watch a map of the world and see computer break in attempts happening in real time? Well dream no more, A company called Norse has made an interactive map available with which you can watch cyberattacks happening as they happen. It’s quit interesting to watch this map unfold and see the types of attacks happening, as well as the sources and destinations. By far, the destinations happen to be computers in the United States, and the sources seem to be mainly from the US and China.
As mesmerizing as watching these cyberattacks unfold, it’s very important to remember exactly what you’re seeing. The destinations of the attacks that are happening are not traditional computer systems. They’re honeypots, or computers that are used by Norse to detect cyberattacks. These honeypots are put on the internet with the hope that they will be attacked so that information can be gathered about the threats and sources of the attacks. In other words, even though we can see many attacks happening on this site, we’re really only seeing the tip of the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more going on that we don’t see.
So the next time you think about your router and home network, think about this: in the time it took to read this article, there’s a good chance that someone somewhere has probed your router looking for a way to get in.