Specimen Box—Analyzing Botnet Activity

Following their incisive examinations of online advertising ecosystems and browser activity ad profiling, the Office for Creative Research recently completed an interactive touchscreen-based work that visualizes (and sonifies) botnet activity based on data collected by Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit. Botnets are nebulous, distributed entities that span across thousands of PCs, so to provide some illumination on these abstract networks the tool represents their aggregate geographic and temporal patterns. In their project writeup, OCR frames Specimen Box as an...

...exploratory tool that allows DCU’s investigators to examine the unique profiles of various botnets, focusing on the geographic and time-based communication patterns of millions of infected machines. Specimen Box enables investigators to study a botnet the way a naturalist might examine a specimen collected in the wild: What are its unique characteristics? How does it behave? How does it propagate itself? How is it adapting to a changing environment?

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