Remember Norse Corp., the company behind the interactive “pew-pew” cyber attack map shown in the image below? Norse imploded rather suddenly in 2016 following a series of managerial missteps and funding debacles. Now, the founders of Norse have launched a new company with a somewhat different vision: RedTorch, which for the past two years has marketed a mix of services to high end celebrity clients, including spying and anti-spying tools and services.
That company, which later came under investigation by state regulators concerned about underage smokers, later rebranded to another start-up that tried to be an online copyright cop
Norse’s attack map was everywhere for several years, and even became a common sight in the “brains” of corporate security operations centers worldwide. Even if the data that fueled the maps was not particularly useful, the images never failed to enthrall visitors viewing them on room-sized screens.
“In the tech-heavy, geek-speak world of cybersecurity, these sorts of infographics and maps are popular because they promise to make complicated and boring subjects accessible and sexy,” I wrote in a story about Norse’s implosion. “And Norse’s much-vaunted interactive attack map was indeed some serious eye candy: It purported to track the source and destination of countless Internet attacks in near real-time, and showed what appeared to be multicolored fireballs continuously arcing across the globe.”
That story showed the core Norse team had a history of ambitious but ultimately failed or re-branded companies. One company proclaimed it was poised to spawn a network of cyber-related firms, but instead ended up selling cigarettes online.
Flushed with venture capital funding in 2012, Norse’s founders started hiring dozens of talented cybersecurity professionals. By 2014 it was throwing lavish parties at top Internet security conferences. It spent quite a bit of instasext reddit money on marketing gimmicks and costly advertising stunts, burning through millions in investment funding. In 2016, financial reality once again would catch up with the company’s leadership when Norse abruptly ceased operations and was forced to lay off most of its staff.
are working on a new venture: A corporate security and investigations company called RedTorch that’s based in Woodland Hills, Calif, the home of many Hollywood celebrities.
RedTorch’s website currently displays a “We’re coming soon” placeholder page. But a version of the site that ran for two years beginning in 2018 explained what clients can expect from the company’s services:
- “Frigg Mobile Intelligence,” for helping celebrities and other wealthy clients do background checks on the people in their lives;
- “Cheetah Counter Surveillance” tools/services to help deter others from being able to spy on clients electronically;
- A “Centurion Research” tool for documenting said snooping on others.
Now the top executives behind Norse Corp
The closest thing to eye candy for RedTorch is its Cheetah Counter Surveillance product line, a suite of hardware and software meant to be integrated into other security products which – according to RedTorch – constantly sweeps the client’s network and physical office space with proprietary technology designed to detect remote listening bugs and other spying devices.
“Frigg is the easiest way to do a full background check and behavioral analysis on people,” the product pitch reads. “Frigg not only shows background checks, but social profiles and a person’s entire internet footprint, too. This allows one to evaluate a person’s moral fiber and ethics. Frigg employs machine learning and analytics on all known data from a subject’s footprint, delivering instant insight so you can make safer decisions, instantly.”
The background checking service from RedTorch, called Frigg, says it’s building “one of the world’s largest facial recognition databases and a very accurate facial recognition match standard.”