Cyber threats as art

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- It is difficult to attribute anything aesthetic to computer viruses, spam mail and other cyber threats. But that's exactly what Message Labs has done. In the second week of March, the uk- based Internet security firm exhibited a collection of graphical representations of computer threats. The exhibition was held at Covent Garden, London, and was the first time that images were visualized using the actual computer code of spam and computer viruses.

Message Labs and graphic artist Alex Dragulescu collaborated on the works. The Internet security firm generated a computer model of the malicious ware, which was then provided to Dragulescu, who with the aid of his own computer programme created the images. Alex Shipp, senior anti-virus technologist at Message Labs, said "We selected 16 different pieces of malicious ware. It was up to the artist to generate features for them, such as the tentacles and tendrils." Adrian Chamberlain, chief executive of Message Labs, said "No-one knew what threats look like. For our teams of researchers that stop cyber threat in their tracks, being able to 'stare the enemy through the eye' through Alex's art is fascinating."

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