This is an old project, but by some miracle it's still working and I woke up this morning wanting to celebrate the things I love more.
This Inkplate e-ink screen shows Conway's Game of Life, seeded from tarpits I have on the Internet. The tarpits are programs on my computer that superficially look like insecure Telnet and Remote Desktop services, but actually exist to respond super slowly and make bots scanning the Internet 'get stuck'.
When a bot connects to the tarpit, the data it sends gets squished into a 5x5 grid and 'stamped' onto a Game of Life board. Data from a bot at the IP address 1.1.x.x will get stamped on the top left corner, data from a bot at 254.254.x.x will get stamped on the bottom right corner.
Conway's Game of Life, a set of simple rules that govern whether cells should turn on or off, updates the display once per second. The result is that bot attacks end up appearing as distinct 'creatures', that get bigger and more angry looking over time (as their centre is updated with new data). After the attack finishes, the 'creature' eventually burns itself out.
Despite that description, it's a really chill piece of art that doesn't draw too much attention but I can happily watch for a long time.
Credit for the idea goes to @_mattata
, I had been wanting to make a real-life version of XKCD #350 for years before seeing his Botnet Fishbowl project.#projects #inkplate #esp32 #eink #infosec #tarpit