Cyber-intelligence startup Norse has released a real-time world map of cyberattacks, which you can see here. It is both terrifying and mesmerizing.
A whole lot of cyberattacks are coming from China or the United States. But as the map shows, they can originate from everywhere. What's more, most of the attacks come from automated bots, many of which are likely seeking vulnerabilities that could yield personal data, like credit card numbers and addresses.
In recent years, there's been an increasing number of data breaches, like the ones at Target and eBay that exposed millions of records. By at least one estimate, about half of Americans had personal data hacked in the past year. (Here's a great visualization of the biggest American data breaches from all causes, including hacking.)
Organized cyberwarfare between nations is also growing. For example, on March 28, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that the Pentagon will increase US Cyber Command forces to 6,000 people by 2016, which should make it one of the biggest cyber forces in the world.
As Joseph Bernstein writes at BuzzFeed, the data from the map comes from Norse's own 8 million plus computers that it sets out as attractive bait, looking like ATM software and other things that hackers might want to get a piece of. And the map only shows 1 percent of Norse's data. Otherwise it would be too overwhelming to see what's going on.
Another thing to look out for: a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, a huge group of coordinated attacks on the same target at the same time.
A likely DDoS attack from China directed at the US West Coast: