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cyber war map (GWU National Security Archive)

CyberWar Map visualizes global threats

Anyone who has ever tried to track a subject by storing articles and reports in file cabinets —yes, I’m that old —is bound to get a rush of serotonin upon launching George Washington University’s new CyberWar Map.  Actually, younger folks who appreciate data visualization will probably get a pretty good kick, too.

The CyberWar Map, a project of GWU’s National Security Archive, offers an initial screen that displays what looks like the missile-tracking screens in the movie War Games.  (OK, I promise to drop the allusions to pre-internet technologies…)  

cyberwar map visualization

Click on the Iranian flag, for example, and the panel to the left will offer document summaries about that nation’s cyber capabilities and programs. 

cyberwar map with document pane

Follow the line from the Iran node outward to see what actor or organization was behind a specific cyber event.  Follow to the next node to learn the name of the event and who its targets were.  At each node, a click will summon a list of available related documents summaries.

Clicking on the Iran node for example, brought up, among other summaries, a joint statement by James R. Clapper, Marcel Lettre and Adm. Michael S. Rogers to the Senate Armed Services Committee titled "Foreign Cyber Threats to the United States." Clicking on the title brought up the report itself in a new browser tab.

In short, the map serves as a visual index and access point to the National Security Archives’ extensive collection of Cyber Vault documents. In some cases, such as when where the documents are copyrighted, clicking on a hyperlink will lead to an external source.

As the projects creators note, “The CyberWar Map is a living research aid: documents and nodes will be added on a regular basis. The complexity of the field makes it increasingly challenging to conceptualize a “bird’s eye view” of the cyber-battlefield; therefore, the topic lends itself especially well to a dynamic graphic representation.”

Posted by Patrick Marshall on Aug 31, 2018 at 10:11 AM


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