F-Secure – Invisible Invaders Campagne

What do cyber attacks actually sound like?

As part of the “Invisible Invaders” campaign, we were asked to develop a concept for interpreting data and making it comprehensible with the help of sound. The task was to design sounds for each individual attack category that harmonize with each other and form an aesthetic but informative whole. A particular challenge was the audible representation of data in real time, as overlapping attacks made it difficult to clearly assign attacks. Other parts of the task involved implementing the system in a web application interface and monitoring a live multi-channel public event in Frankfurt, which was filmed as part of the case documentation.

About the Client

Founded in 1988, F-Secure is a pioneering company in the Internet security sector. With over 1000 employees in more than 25 locations worldwide and a long company history, F-Secure is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to internet infrastructure. Their motto is: “What is the point of being connected to everyone if our data, our identity and our transactions remain unprotected?With more than 25 years of experience in protecting millions of computers worldwide, from the first malware to the last targeted attack, we know one thing for sure: you will get hit. The only question is whether you can recover and come back stronger.”

Product Sound Design

Product Sound Design is the sonification of a product’s functions. The sound itself can represent a function, as in the case of a voice assistant, for example, or take on a supporting role, as in the case of a parking aid.
Product sound design offers a further information channel via an additional sense and gives the recipient a different perspective from which to absorb and interpret information. As an internet security company, F-Secure relies on monitoring and identifying the frequencies and types of cyber attacks and has a comprehensive understanding of trends and tendencies. Many people who are responsible for data online are unaware of the threat of cybercrime. With its latest global campaign “Invisible Invaders”, F-Secure has used Sonification to raise awareness of this problem.

F-Secure Invisible Invaders

Cyber Attacks per Day*


What data was furnished with sound?

Honeypot Attack Types

  1. SSH: Can be devastating, allows full access to the machine under attack. Worst-case scenario: Complete destruction of the IT infrastructure.
  2. HTTP & HTTPS: Can be very damaging, DDoS, script injections. Case study: Infection of users with malware (can result in all users being lost)
  3. FTP & TFTP: Possibility to become a malware distributor, mainly malware traffic, faster distribution and from different locations. Worst Case Scenario: Can lead to hosting malware, your websites can be considered not trustworthy (loss of traffic and search engine indexing)
  4. MYSQL & MSSQL: Allows database attacks (often associated with HTTP protocol). Worst-case scenario: data loss of customer information, order information; all data can also be manipulated.
  5. SIP: Server IP; for example in conference rooms, mostly used for corporate espionage; (often used for hacker teleconferencing systems). Worst-case scenario: corporate espionage, potential blackmail, …
  6. SMB, EPMAP, MIRRORD: SMB is a transfer protocol between systems (WannaCry uses this), epmap / mirrord used for network scanning. Worst-case scenario: Data loss, for example valuable files such as financial reports before publication.
  7. UPNP: (very versatile protocol, hack endpoints), mostly against IoT. Worst-case scenario: IoT devices can be hacked (very simple: baby monitors); could also be applied to corporate installations such as air conditioning systems.
  8. SMTP: email protocol. Worst-case scenario: Identity theft, sending emails on behalf of the owner, could lead to phishing.
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