Watching crime happen

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Just how pervasive is cybercrime? U.K. insurance company Hiscox used an interactive billboard to show hacking attacks in real time. The company set up a series of servers — the kind typically used by small businesses — and connected them to a digital billboard. The billboard pulsed with cyberattack attempts — 23,000 per day on average. One 24-hour period included 60,000 attacks. It was a striking visual display of how cybercrime affects more than big companies, government and political campaigns.

Digital billboards are paying off for other public service campaigns, particularly in Europe. One billboard “coughed” every time it detected secondhand cigarette smoke from passersby. Another used an interactive billboard to test the strength of people’s lungs. The stronger the lung capacity, the more of the message was revealed.

GORODENKOFF/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

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