The recent pirate attacks on a lot of ships off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden has been in the news. This made me wonder if the pirate attacks are something new or is it something that keeps going on but has just made the headlines because of the volume of attacks. I found this website - ICC Commercial Crime Services that has a Live Privacy Map that lists out all the pirate attacks that have been reported in the recent past. Each map point represents a reported pirate attack and you can click on the map point and read a whole report about the pirate attacks.
In the same website the page Piracy prone areas and Warnings gives details of the areas that are to be avoided and it is interesting to note that all the areas happen to be around South East Asia, Indian subcontinent and the African coast. I am not sure if this is because of the sea routes that are taken or the number of developing/underdeveloped countries in these regions.