A botnet attack is the computer equivalent of a hijacking. Through malware, botnet creators use networked computers to attack, assault and hack other computers and servers in a bid to gain access to confidential or personal information. Infected hosts further infect other computers, which extends the reach of the botnet.
Unveillance, an IT security intelligence and metrics firm, used its technology to render a data visualization of the world’s botnet traffic. On a global map, botnet traffic is shown as it popped up across continents over the course of one minute on June 11, 2012. It looks like a Christmas tree lighting up — but you wouldn’t want to open the presents these botnets delivered.