An anonymous hacker explained how he used some stupid simple hacking techniques to build a 420,000-node botnet that helped him draw the most detailed map of the Internet known to man. Not only does it show where people are logging in, it also shows changes in traffic patterns over time with an impressive amount of precision.
This is all possible, of course, because he hacked into nearly half a million computers so that he could ping each one, charting the resulting paths in order to make such a complex and detailed map. Along those lines, the project has as much to do with hacking as it does with mapping.
The resultant map isn’t perfect, but it is beautiful. Based on the parameter’s of the researcher’s study, the map is already on its way to becoming obsolete, since it shows only devices with IPv4 addresses. (The latest standard is IPv6, but IPv4 is still pretty common.)
The map is further limited to Linux-based computers with a certain amount of processing power. And finally, because of the parameters of the hack, it shows some amount of bias towards naive users who don’t put passwords on their computers.
But on a general, half-a-million-computer level, this is what the Internet looks like in all of its gorgeous motion: