Norse Corp could be a thing of the past

Norse Corp, famous for their live attack map and Viking based parties at Black Hat, could be having some financial issues. At least that is the word from researcher Brian Krebs. Over the last couple of weeks they have laid off 30% of their staff and let their CEO go. Neither of the occurrences is good news for a company that is relatively new (Norse was founded in 2010). The basis of the business was to provide a nimble product that would allow for better threat tracking and blocking. Everything was centered on the use of live information to help prevent and mitigate attacks.

Most people are familiar with Norse from their live threat map. It is a visual tool that is supposed to show actual ongoing attacks all over the globe and in real-time. However as of this posting both the Norse corporate site and the live attack map are offline. The reason for this is that there might not be anyone actually working at the company. To quote Brian Krebs, “sources say the company’s investors have told employees that they can show up for work on Monday but that there is no guarantee they will get paid if they do.” There are also rumblings that Norse will be rolled into another company (SolarFlare) and possibly very soon.

What is interesting is that Norse made a big splash with their products and also at many security events. They are well known in the industry, but it does not seem that everyone bought into their eye-candy based designs. Their “live” interactive attack map is something that many have used and is almost mesmerizing in the way it displays attacks. The problem is that not all of the data displayed was a real attack. Some have looked at the attack data collected and found that it is possibly including automated web crawlers. Outside of that there are some indications that Norse executive management were not interested in actually using the data to build their business on.

So if you are looking for that Flashy map to pull up and keep you entertained today it is possible that it will not be there moving forward. Norse as we know it could be a thing of the past. Their technology and possibly staff could be headed to another place. While this is sort of sad, it could also be that the attack data that Norse was collecting might be put to some actual use and a product(s) developed that will make a difference… Ok, maybe I am being a little too optimistic.

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