Have you ever watched a movie where a group of unbelievably attractive looking hackers broke into some government organization by constantly typing on their keyboard like they were typing an essay? Yet according to the display they were opening and closing executable files.
Sadly when alleged cyber-attacks occured during the South Ossetia War there were probably no fancy CGI effects showing neon blue wires interacting with each other while Scarlet Johansson with a poor Slavic accent convinces a Putin-looking Sean Penn to move all the nuclear data to a back-up server – constantly typing all the while.
No, the reality is probably just a bunch of sweaty Russians crowded around a blinking DOS prompt. That is, until now, as Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have developed a new cyber-attack alert system called Daedalus. And let me tell you, cyber warfare has never been sexier!
NICT had previously set up a similar system called nicter which gives a 3D real-time display of cyber-attacks overlaid onto a 3D model of the Earth which looked pretty cool, but still not quite tinsel town caliber. Going back to the drawing board, they established a darknet observation network, but more importantly did away with the Earth model for a sleek 3D orb representation of the entire internet!
Looking at Daedalus’ screen, the internet is the spherical mesh of blue wires in the middle. The networks that you’re monitoring appear as cool floating discs around the internet connected by blue tentacle-like beams.
If that’s not cool enough, you’ll probably be begging for a security threat as it pops up on the floating blue discs as a Chinese character for warning (警). Western versions of the software will probably have English messages, but I as well as other Ghost in the Shell fans would advise against it for stylistic purposes.
And while we embark on this new realm of international conflict, Michael Bay breathes a sigh of relief as his movies just got a little more realistic.