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Greg Jones

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Ethical botnets

If ethical botnets could be created, would you participate? If a million people were to give up a 20 gig partition on their windows, apple or linux pc, what could be achieved? Could the botnet be utilized for research, crime fighting, climate reporting, problem solving? (the list goes on). Would internet users let ethical hackers take control of their volunteered hard drive partition during sleeping or down time hours? How could scientists utilize an ethical botnet, consisting of millions of computers? Could vast projects and very complex problems be resolved collectively, utilizing the ethical botnet? Would it require strict safeguards , encryption, guidelines or even governmental legislation and, or, oversight by a governing body? What would, or could be the incentive for participating in the vast project?

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      Nov 21 2013: Thank you! I can now go to sleep without worrying I'd thought of something that could bring down our infrastructure and now I know I hadn't lol.
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        Nov 21 2013: As you seem to believe that 'strict safeguards, encryption, guidelines or even governmental legislation' would actually work on the Internet, your chances seem high for a good nights rest.
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          Nov 21 2013: My main concern was anonymous hacking such a vast network, imagined it could at least slow down if not temporarily break parts of the internet infrastructure. And that large independent volunteer botnets could actually compete for dominance etc But I see some bright minds at Berkley are a few years ahead of me, and clearly only a very small percentage of internet users have embraced the idea ( at least officially)
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        Nov 21 2013: Your concern is named Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and a daily reality on the Internet already.

        The moment smart hacker would find ways to infiltrate and to hijack those peaceful infrastructure of network computing, they of course could then misuse it for a massive DDoS attack to shut down certain servers on the Internet.

        And as there is no perfectly save computer code possible, the risk of misuse is immanent to IT technology at all times. This is why it is so important not to connect anything to the Internet nowadays...

        A harmless yet funny story I experienced happened at a University department I once worked with. This department got a brand new state of the art hydro-forming press, which rightly became the pride of the professor in charge. 6 month later the police appeared at the University because hackers cracked the firewall of the University network and used the hard-drive of this hydro-forming press to store and stream illegal movie files and did this, as it turned out, without anybody noticing it.

        Of course no legal case was opened against this department, yet nevertheless, the situation was quite embarrassing for them.
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      Nov 28 2013: Hi Lejan,
      I was looking at the boinc project you mentioned, it sounds very interesting, do you have experience with this initiative?
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        Nov 29 2013: Yes, every now and then I donate some computing time to one of the projects available and let my computer calculate for it over night. As those algorithms squeeze any bit out of a CPU, the cooling fans turn a bit noisy to quench the heat of the process, at least on my Mac, which is actually the only reason why I don't like to have it running in the background during the day while I am working at my computer.

        If you are interested, just try it out for yourself as you are free to stop participating at any time.

        And in case you like riddles and to participate actively in solving scientific problems, have a look here:

        http://fold.it/portal/

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