The constant barrage of headlines trumpeting high-profile security breaches makes it easy to understand at a high level that hack attacks are on the rise, but mere words alone don't truly convey the scope of the constant threats. A mesmerizing example of data visualization by computer security firm Norse lets you see penetration attempts in real time, via a DEFCON-esque map that feels like it was ripped right from the old WarGames movie.
Witnessing the constant ping-ping-ping of individual penetration attempts is hypnotic. If you watch long enough, the map will explode in a frenzy of color, as coordinated mass-hack attacks blast across the globe—most often out of China, and often pointed toward the U.S. The U.S. itself is the steady number two on the map's "Attack Origins" list, however.
But now for the really scary part: This map reveals only the tiniest possible tip of the hack-attack iceberg—penetration attempts against a subset of Norse's network of "honeypot" traps alone. The actual number of hack attempts lighting up the web at any given moment is far, far greater than this nifty experiment can ever possibly show.
Anyway, check it out. Norse's map will give you a healthy respect for what security professionals and websites across the globe have to deal with day in and day out, far more vividly than simple statistics on a page ever could.