Internet Census 2012

Visualizing the World’s Internet Usage – Illegally

It seems like a paradox that a hacker would bother monitoring approximately half a million connected devices around the world out of sheer curiosity. But, there it is, the undeniable truth that a hacker recently measured 24 hours of internet access, producing a color coded, animated GIF to distinguish between higher and lower usage… just because.

According to reports by Gawker and Fast Company, the anonymous hacker created a ‘botnet’ (or, for all you not so IT savvy folks, a ‘network of hacked devices’) as part of an Internet Census 2012 effort. Although the hacker only gained access to systems operating with default passwords, the geographical scope of the measurement is still impressive and reveals several interesting trends.

For instance, Fast Company noted:

“The red represents peak traffic and the blue represents base traffic. The creator points out that night affects the U.S. and Europe less than other areas, due to the amount of omnipresent Internet connections (mostly routers and set-top boxes). Another interesting anomaly is that Europeans seem to reach peek usage right before the sun goes down, as if they’re cramming in a lot of work (or casual browsing) at the end of the work day.”

Despite the fact that this visualization is the product of blatant illegal activity, we agree that it is, nonetheless, a very interesting collection of data. We’d like to thank our friends at SPARC for sharing the captivating find with us!

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