Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Didier Stevens

SANS ISC: Discontinuing Support for ISC Alert Task Bar Icon SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

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Discontinuing Support for ISC Alert Task Bar Icon

Many years ago, when the internet was still a different place before Twitter, RSS and browser notifications, Tom Liston was kind enough to write a very compact task bar application displaying the current "Incocon". The application, also known as "blinky globe thing", was mostly known for its impeccable implementation of the color orange. 

However, the application uses a non-standard RSS feed, and does not speak SSL. We recently changed our site to SSL only, breaking the current "blinky globe" to only show blue. Also, there are now a number of other more standard ways to receive notifications about infocon changes. As a result, I decided to stop supporting "ISCAlert". If you still use it, please uninstall it. 

For alternatives, please see our notification system: . We currently offer "SMS compatible" e-mail notifications and will soon have browser notifications (part of this is already live). We do also have a number of RSS feeds, simple text feeds (e.g.. ) and Twitter to notify you of impeding doom.

For more about the Infocon, see

Johannes B. Ullrich, Ph.D.
SANS Technology Institute

I will be teaching next: Intrusion Detection In-Depth - SANS London October 2021


4240 Posts
ISC Handler
May 22nd 2014
How come a friend of mine has got the ISCAlert app and it's still working then?

4 Posts
If twitter has really obsoleted real-time monitoring dashboards.... then perhaps it is time to just go ahead and retire InfoCon as a 'single' alert level completely?

Replace some magnitude counters on a scale to 1 to 10 of the severity of current outbreaks or extraordinary threats in the most important categories, such as

Scanning activity, Phishing, Spamming, DDoS

146 Posts
Thinking about a numerical indicator of "badness". The Infocon hasn't really been much of a "state of the internet" indicator, but more of a "call to action" if there is current change.

We still offer various forms of the Infocon for dashboards.

4240 Posts
ISC Handler
and if it still works: no need to turn it off :) We will just no longer "fix" things if it breaks. Most notably the https only requirement.

4240 Posts
ISC Handler
he broke my mood globe. RIP Infocon Task Bar Icon With condolences from Root Boy Slim

57 Posts
Strangeness. I subscribed to headlines and infocon. On clicking the confirmation links, the former reports failure and the latter, success. Thoughts?
10 Posts
Man...I guess this is just another piece of technological history to show I'm getting older. I have the infocon status on my website, but on my Windows VM, I always loved ISCAlert. I guess it's time to say, "goodbye." May I have a few minutes before unlinking the exe?

3 Posts
It is still green! So I guess we can leave it on? This doesn't cause unwanted traffic does it? I would imagine it will break the next time Infocon changes?

3 Posts
Once again, something is obsolete. I like I have time to check RSS feeds. All I had to do was look at the globe, and, when time permitted, I checked the ISC main page. Of course, I always checked it when it went yellow.

In the name of security, we lose something to make things more secure disappear.


21 Posts
At least we have a few other options for Infocon monitoring remaining, for instance the Infocon Watcher Firefox add-on I wrote (yes, that is shameless self-promotion :-P). See
Vincent T

14 Posts

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