June 15, 2012, 7:00 PM — It's a little disturbing that I actually find this attractive, not just interesting. Data-loss prevention vendor Unveillance, which published a map of global malware distribution in March, posted an even more graphic illustration of how widespread and how busy botnets really are.
In Unveillance' video there are no national borders, platform incompatibilities, arguments about who wrote a bit of malware or whether what they're doing with a botnet is ethical or who isn't doing enough to stop the spread of the pandemic and who will suffer by it.
There is only the activity of botnets talking to each other, asking controllers for instructions, attacking targets, seducing victims and chattering constantly to other computers – I am here. I am me. Are you there? Where? You are there? That is you? I am here. Where are you? Over and over and over because without constant assurance, none of them know the others exist; most don't even know whether they exist themselves.
They do, the Unveillance video shows, by recording a single minute of all the chatter of all the botnets in the world, laid out against a NASA photo of Earth that couldn't show the Internet or the impact of the Internet, let alone all those botnets and their magpie prattle of uncertainty.
Unveillance took one minute of monitoring data on all the botnet nodes in the world that could be geolocated, then snipped off data representing chatter between 9:00 and 9:01 a.m. June 11, 2012.
Then it parsed the geolocation, time and communications data to show where each node was, converted the data to show where on the globe each outburst was located, and slowed the whole thing down to one fifth it's actual speed so humans could see the communication as well.
The result has the same creepy-crawly feeling as as close-up videos of a house infested with bugs, but that fades with a little denial and a little more volume on the soothing soundtrack, Unveillance must have clipped from an instructional video teaching aromatherapy.