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The Biggest Cloud Providers Are Botnets

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the resistance-is-futile dept.

Botnet 116

Julie188 writes "Google is made up of 500,000 systems, 1 million CPUs and 1,500 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth, according to cloud service provider Neustar. Amazon comes in second with 160,000 systems, 320,000 CPUs and 400 Gbps of bandwidth, while Rackspace offers 65,000 systems, 130,000 CPUs and 300 Gbps. But these clouds are dwarfed by the likes of the really big cloud services, otherwise known as botnets. Conficker controls 6.4 million computer systems in 230 countries, with more than 18 million CPUs and 28 terabits per second of bandwidth."

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116 comments

where did they get their numbers from? (4, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582608)

And they came up with that number how?

28 terabit/s == 28.000 gigabit/s == 28.000.000 megabit/s

28.000.000 megabit/s / 6.400.000 systems would average out to 4.375 megabit/s AVERAGE bit rate over those 6 1/2 million systems in 230 countries... (oh - and to fully utilize that, it would also require the UPLOAD rate to be in the same ballpark figure; to have more than 4 megabit/s upload speed on average over that many systems in that many countries...?)

18.000.000 cpus in 6.400.000 systems is on AVERAGE 2.812 CPUs per system - so, most of the systems would already have been dual or even quad cores... ...oh - and in order to qualify such numbers, that would have to be the average number of systems online at any given moment; if half of them are switched off (while someone is asleep, away, ...) - the numbers go down.

I would believe, that conficker and similar botnets are huge, but the numbers depend strongly on 'estimates'. Also, if conficker really managed to 'rent out' the computing power, the botnet would likely quickly decrease in size, as more and more people would take their systems to repairs, because they are so slow all of a sudden...)

So, how do they get to those numbers? Apart from, obviously, pulling them out of thin air? ...and apart from the desire, to get the name of the company coming up with the number out on slashdot?

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582702)

Damn foreigners..use commas instead of periods!

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582852)

Damn American, use periods instead of commas. How does that sound to you? 95% of the world use's periods only American's use commas and you tell that guy to use commas? Dude you have some redneck issues for sure.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582918)

Are you trolling or is this serious (and just really needlessly caustic)? 95%? Really?

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582964)

95% of the world use's periods only American's use commas

at least we know how to use an apostrophe, retard

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583002)

3 (point) 2 -> 3,2 ...huh?

Maybe comma is pronounced differently in other countries.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583366)

3 (point) 2 -> 3,2 ...huh?

Maybe comma is pronounced differently in other countries.

Most countries that use the comma as a decimal separator have a non-English first language, so they wouldn't use the English words "point" or "comma". Whatever word they do use would make sense locally.

I spent some time in South Africa, where they do speak English, and they would pronounce your example as "three-comma-two". To them, that is the natural way of vocalising a decimal number. As a visitor, it took a bit of getting used to.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583124)

The comma is used as a thousands separator in the US, Japan, Australia, North and South Korea, Israel, Singapore, English Canada, and the Philippines. That's about 9.5% of the world population. And the Chinese and Indians don't use a period as a separator so that's another 37% of the global population. I don't know where you get your data.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (-1, Offtopic)

johndiii (229824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583166)

Not 95% [wikipedia.org]. Not even close, with both China and India using the period.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0, Offtopic)

johndiii (229824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583230)

Oops. Period for the radix point in those countries, not as a digit separator.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 3 years ago | (#31586132)

Wonderful how you provided something informative and helpful to finishing off the (admittedly) offtopic OP. If I had mod points, I'd fix this. Hurrah for perspective bias affecting mods.

Period confusion (2, Insightful)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583206)

"18.000.000 cpus ... is on AVERAGE 2.812 CPUs per system

Now judging by the illogic of using periods for expressing these two quantities, one large and one small, you create confusion in the reader, hence the appropriate use of commas to clarify a large number, and a period as a decimal point to elucidate a fraction.

Now, I'm all about the metric system, euro socialized medicine and other progressive concepts, but using the same piece of punctuation to express two completely different numerical concepts, in the same sentence, IS CONFUSING.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583266)

I don't have redneck issues. I just prefer to be able to actually understand what I'm reading.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#31585462)

Considering this is an American site, that may not be the appropriate attitude. I could honestly care less, as long as there were significantly large enough numbers to avoid ambiguity. The fact is, /. is an American site, and I would guess used mostly by americans. That isn't flamebait, just a fact. It would seem to make sense to follow local conventions.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31586960)

I could honestly care less, ....

I could too. But maybe you mean you couldn't care less. That would make more sense.

That isn't flamebait, just a fact.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (2, Interesting)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582886)

Also, if conficker really managed to 'rent out' the computing power, the botnet would likely quickly decrease in size, as more and more people would take their systems to repairs, because they are so slow all of a sudden...)

You'd be surprised how true that isn't. Even Windows is reasonably good at idletime priority processes - unless they intentionally used CPU that the user was trying to use, people would probably never notice.

A bigger problem is that there are very few useful problems that are practical to calculate on a distributed botnet of that fashion. It's been tried and failed before, more than once - most real-world problems involve large databases of confidential data, which is obviously inappropriate for a network like this on multiple levels.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583004)

Somehow I don't think the guys running the Conflicker botnet are particularly concerned with the practical implementation of ethical computing.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583346)

Getting your botnet removed from the user's computer makes bad financial sense, especially when you can get 95% of the same computational power while being totally invisible. They'd be fools to do otherwise.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (2, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583094)

A bigger problem is that there are very few useful problems that are practical to calculate on a distributed botnet of that fashion. It's been tried and failed before, more than once - most real-world problems involve large databases of confidential data, which is obviously inappropriate for a network like this on multiple levels.

Probably a bigger problem is that not many useful problems are "embarrassingly parallel". The nodes performing the computations need fast communication between other nodes in most parallel algorithms. The distributed algorithms that can be farmed out to idle computers need no communication with other nodes -- they perform work on the unit they were given and send the results back when they're done.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (5, Insightful)

dskoll (99328) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583162)

Probably a bigger problem is that not many useful problems are "embarrassingly parallel".

Sending spam is. DoSing a victim is. Brute-forcing passwords is.

It's unfortunate, but a lot of problems of interest to unethical people are indeed embarrassingly parallel. :(

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#31585820)

But comparing them to Google's cloud seems unreasonable. Their numbers may be higher but they can't outmatch google when it comes to quickly make a search on petabytes of data or to compute millions of user recommendations on amazon.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

BlurryEyed (134070) | more than 3 years ago | (#31586516)

Did anyone else wonder what Do-Sing'ing was?
I think I need some more coffee.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#31586796)

BlurryEyed, meet Solfege [wikipedia.org]. Solfege, may I introduce BlurryEyed. He'll shake your hand once he's had his morning dose of crack to get moving this afternoon.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (5, Insightful)

Gudeldar (705128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582930)

I can't even figure out how they got to 230 countries. The UN has 192 members, Wikipedia lists 203 de jure and de facto states.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583036)

Oh my God! The Botnets are creating their own countries!

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31584766)

Oh my God! The Botnets are creating their own countries!

There are 9 "cyber" countries! The governments of the world have been hiding them from us all these years... Also that is where all the physical countries money has been going - they are living like kings in these cyber countries-- but they do not have any health care benefits. oh well...

fact check this comment, ahh why bother, the headline sounds sensational, why ruin it with little things like facts...

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (5, Informative)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583190)

here you go. you made me curious. http://www.filibustercartoons.com/allcountries.htm [filibustercartoons.com]

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584274)

here you go. you made me curious. http://www.filibustercartoons.com/allcountries.htm [filibustercartoons.com]

That list has 239 countries total. I have to wonder which 9 aren't infected...

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#31586226)

That list has 239 countries total. I have to wonder which 9 aren't infected...

232) VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRITISH
233) VIRGIN ISLANDS, U.S.

That's two likely to be uninfected. And Poland, I forgot Poland.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 3 years ago | (#31586712)

232) VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRITISH
233) VIRGIN ISLANDS, U.S.

That's two likely to be uninfected. And Poland, I forgot Poland.

172) POLAND
95) HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY STATE)
42) CHAD

If there's anywhere we should guess is uninfected, it's the Vatican - amirite? And I know Chad, he says he's clean. Also, not on the country list: Sealand

That's 6, 3 left to identify.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#31587318)

I bet North Korea is one. You'd have to have power & Internet access to become part of a botnet.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583476)

Here's a really simple question,
  Are all these Millions inept and don't have major updated anti-virus on these machines ? or is this saying that anti-virus mostly doesn't work? I'd really like to hear educated answers to this question

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (2, Insightful)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584294)

Yeah, with 230 countries, I am starting to question that 6.4 million computer number as well.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31584468)

Did you include second life (and all of the countries there)? HMMMMMMMM? Betcha didn't!

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (-1, Offtopic)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582994)

18.000.000 cpus in 6.400.000 systems is on AVERAGE 2.812 CPUs

Okay, fine. You want to use periods instead of commas for separating thousands... at least have the decency of using a different separator to mark the decimal point! Does your "2.812" actually mean "2,812" or "2.812"? My calculator tells me that its "2.812", but why should I have to re-do your calculations just to read what you've written?

I find it hard to believe that so many people mod-ed you up to 5: Insightful when I doubt half those people actually read (and were able to understand) what you were talking about. Chalk it up to the phenomenon of mod points just for filling up space.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583074)

sorry - my mistake with the thousands separator. For that I apologize...

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (-1, Offtopic)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583130)

I'm quite certain they did understood all of it and weren't just nitpicking like you. While I personally think it's good to use space as thousand separator and period as decimal point ("18 000 000 cpus in 6 400 000 systems is on AVERAGE 2.812 CPUs"), I didn't even notice that thing and perfectly understood what he meant.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

Mordocai (1353301) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583390)

I'm brand new to the international internet "scene", yet I understood. I'd never seen anybody use periods as thousands separators(yeah, I'm from America), but I managed to get what he was saying pretty easily. That being said, it would be nice to use -something- different for the decimal point or for the thousands separator, so that it's not the same.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (2, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584044)

Right. Except in most of the world the dot (what we in America use as the decimal point) is actually the thousands separator and the comma (what we use as the thousands separator) is actually the decimal point.

American: 1,000,000.00

Most of the rest of the world: 1.000.000,00

I'm sure we'll switch as soon as we go Metric. ;)

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#31585036)

That would be fine, so long as you actually use that. To use the dot (.) for BOTH is just plain wrong.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#31586598)

Oh, sorry, I actually missed that in the original post, but you make an excellent point. Yes, using the dot for both decimal point AND thousands separator is really, horribly bad practice.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583522)

Using anything for a thousands separator is an unforgivable sin in computer science. What happens when you put the data in a whitespace seperated format like xml? What happens when you put the data in a comma seperated format like CSV? What happens some dumbshit converts using a different localization format?

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583738)

Slashdot isn't computer science, its an over glorified internet forum. Here, you should be using something to separate the thousands out. Its common courtesy so that people can easily read what you wrote.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#31585396)

Using anything for a thousands separator is an unforgivable sin in computer science.

From the internal Google storage report, all nodes considered:

19182135223730150 bytes free.

Time to worry? Or back to your copy of Hadoop Monthly?

Computer science will become so much easier once the sloppy wetware is eliminated from the data and control chains. We can't even eyeball a simple group of 20 FFS.

Here's a popular joke on the cyborg circuit. Why did the rabbi, the priest, and the minister vote to leave the Muhammad standing on the sidewalk outside the pub? Because the stupid humans can't count that high and it would ruin the joke. Har. It's a real digital knee slapper. Between the lines, the computers are beginning to suspect we're a mite touchy about certain subjects.

It won't be long before the computers are chattering to each other, hey, have you heard joke about humans #19182135223730150? It's a real knee slapper.

0.6 x 10^10 humans are trapped on a ball of mud. The first human says ... [7109mS later] Funny! That's a nice one. Too bad it ended so soon. Brain the size of a planet, and they've got us shuffling packets all day. Say, have you seen the 32,768 piece ending in Boltzmann chess? It's quite cute once you solve the nested attractors.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583286)

I find it hard to believe that so many people mod-ed you up to 5: Insightful when I doubt half those people actually read (and were able to understand) what you were talking about

Alternatively, *you* weren't able to follow the pretty simple math and are blaming GP and moderators both for your shortcoming?

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583234)

And what about the number of countries, 230 ?? This site (http://www.worldatlas.com/nations.htm) does not agree and comes in under 200.

Re:where did they get their numbers from? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#31586066)

I tend to agree that many glamorize the evidence they have to help construe certain facts about botnets and what not.
If we had a real number based on fingerprinting scheme, sort of like each one logged on marks itself in some way on a global scale, to then be able to document stats from, i am sure at any one time you will never have more then xxx active infected pcs....seeing as there is also timezones to consider and also when the control centers are temp. shot down either on purpose (to avoid detection) or by accident (forced shut downs)

Cloud providers? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582700)

bollox...

Re:Cloud providers? (1)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582836)

Yeah, thought about that, too - even if they can provide vast amounts of CPUs and stuff, and even have the knowledge of how to get to results, what would make a customer believe, that people who break into PCs might not also steal the customers data/results, too - and sell them on for even more profit...?

Re:Cloud providers? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582848)

It's perfectly valid to difference cloud based hosting and dedicated servers and so on. It's just an issue when some companies do it badly or customers don't understand what it really is. After all, it's just a network of servers who work on-demand. In addition it should offer backups and such, but these are always just per-contract service details and shouldn't be assumed.

Wikipedia has a good diagram [wikipedia.org] on why "cloud computing" term makes sense. I really can't think of any better one.

In some cases it makes sense to offload the performance, hard drive, memory and bandwidth balancing to other people, in this case Amazon or other service. Sure you could buy new servers and do all of that yourself, but it's not always the best solution.

Like any tool, use it correctly when it makes sense.

Re:Cloud providers? (4, Insightful)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583182)

Regarding whether it's better to host in the cloud or buy your own environment - I often ask when designing a software solution to process a given business requirement 'Does this need to be repeatable (forever, using different datasets) or is this a one time run?' If they only want the answers to a problem once against a single data set, I can crank out a one-pass solution with about 1/10th the time (and effort, and cost) that it would take me to engineer a long term solution that I can hand over to their business users to use forever using different data sets.

I would take the same stance on something applicable to cloud computing. If you only need the results from a small limited set of runs or you will only run it a very small portion of the time, it makes sense to lease someone else's environment. If you are going to need this solution as part of your day to day business and it runs wide open 24x7 - it's probably more cost effective to procure your own environment.

Need a massive render farm to do a proof of concept showing a four minute preview of Toy Story 4? Cloud computing.
Need a massive render farm to actually generate every CGI frame for every movie Disney or Lucas is going to produce the next four years? Buy your own environment.

shit. people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582768)

lets not give google any ideas here... you already allowed them into your systems for email, chat, photos and god knows what else... they are in the perfect position for that.

How long before... (3, Interesting)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582800)

How long before these botnets are so big and complex that they become similar in structure to the human brain and start thinking on their own?

Re:How long before... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582822)

Seeing some troll comments here, I wonder whether they (the botnets) already do - and post to slashdot... ;-)

Re:How long before... (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583210)

Or maybe they are modding down any post that speak of their intelligence... IN B4 BOTNET CENSOR

Re:How long before... (1, Troll)

dogfolife69 (1005455) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582844)

dude... your killing my secret plan here, i have been working on joining different botnets together using AI technology, and the more botnets are connected, the more powerful they get

Re:How long before... (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583244)

<ManiacalAlien> They'll make bigger botnets and bigger networks, and soon, they will make a botnet on a network so big, it will destroy them all!</ManiacalAlien>

Re:How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583442)

thats what they want you to think. they will start attacking other network devices... tvs, fridges, security systems, etc, in their bid to take over the world

Re:How long before... (2, Funny)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582906)

Yeah, I think there was a movie about this concept...can't for the life of me remember what it was called...The Verminator? The Exterminator?

Damn, why has IMDb failed me now?!

Re:How long before... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582922)

> How long before these botnets are so big and complex that they become similar in structure to the human brain and start thinking on their own?

Now? [theonion.com]

Re:How long before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31584636)

I would say most bot nets already show more signs of intelligence then most people I meet on a daily basis.

Re:How long before... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584664)

Interesting and funny at the same time. And after all the funny replies let me give you a serious one.

Botnets as we know them will never become anything like a neural network (let alone self-aware) simply because the nodes do not communicate with each other, but only receive commands from a central server. And all that inter-node communication is necessary for a neural network.

Something where academia should learn from (4, Insightful)

Pegasus (13291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582820)

I'm impressed how while academia is all high on grids, billable cpu time, fault tolerant and robust distributed computing, in place live upgrades, all that is already in natural evolutional development out there in the wild. I'm sure that the botnet uptime numbers they get are much higher that any commercially available cloud, while running on household PCs with household broadband connectivity.

I think it's time to embrace the true nature of wild wild web. Where can I rent this botnet legally?

Re:Something where academia should learn from (1)

Cragen (697038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582940)

Yet, they are not paying a penny for their access, right? (Or rather, the poor schmucks whose pcs they have pwned are the ones paying.) Wild, wild, and stolen web, I believe.

Re:Something where academia should learn from (1)

oranGoo (961287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583022)

At a place that legally sells illegally obtained resources.

Re:Something where academia should learn from (2, Interesting)

bunratty (545641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583122)

Where can I rent this botnet legally?

BOINC [berkeley.edu] is an academic platform to do exactly what you describe.

Re:Something where academia should learn from (2, Interesting)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583232)

Where can I rent this botnet legally?

you can't because the botnets are created illegally. There are "botnets" created for scientific use, such as folding@home, but these do not spread on their own and are completely opt in (and, more importantly, opt out). Perhaps someone should create an opt in cloud system where users who provide cpu power are given a cut of the profit from the distributed super computer use. Perhaps someone already has, as I'm not an expert on these things. I would doubt that the income from this would offset the increased electrical bills, though.

Re:Something where academia should learn from (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583626)

Easy, my new friend.
Please post here your social security number, bank account and credit cards details plus all logins and passwords and you'll be part of our network in no time!!!

interesting... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31582864)

So it's actually Windows which is good at distributed computing...

The BotNet Song! (4, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31582996)

Rustok was a real piss cock
Who was very rarely stable.

Cutwail, Cutwail was a woozy beggar
Who could dos you under the table.

Bobax aka Kraken could out-consume
Nagle!

And Maazben was a leery swine
Who was just as poorly coded as Bagle!

There's nothing Grum couldn't teach ya
'Bout the razing of the kernel.
Mega-D, itself, was permanently pissed.

Festi-ville, of its own free will,
On half a gig of pipe was particularly ill.

Xarvester, they say, could stick it away--
Half a dozen XP machine every day.

Donbot, Donbot was a bugger for the lot.
Conficker was fond of its spam,

And Gregory King was a drunk on bling.
'I spam, therefore I am.'

Yes, ZeuS, itself, is particularly missed,
A lovely little thinker,
But a bugger when it's pissed!




-- Apologies in advance to the Pythons

Re:The BotNet Song! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583786)

You damn well should be sorry. That is some of the worse timing I've ever seen!

That sixth line should have six syllables! SIX! You chop it down to two, leaving a gap of FOUR syllables! That's a whole bar of rests!

I'm sorry, GPLDAN, but it's a No from me. Simon?

Re:The BotNet Song! (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584310)

I.... I..... didn't show enough voice and wasn't unique enough, but you know.... that's okay... because I know who I am and I know the Lord.... he will never keep me down... I will just keep on keepin' on, ya know?

Skynet is amongst us. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583026)

The Judgment Day is approaching..........

There still is a difference (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583072)

Google will have availability of those 100% of the day and 100% of processor. The bot while impressive in numbers won't. People turn of their computers. Many for most of the day. And many of the cycles will still be used not for the Botnet, but for playing games and other things people do on their PC.

Re:There still is a difference (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584226)

Google will have availability of those 100% of the day and 100% of processor. The bot while impressive in numbers won't. People turn of their computers. Many for most of the day. And many of the cycles will still be used not for the Botnet, but for playing games and other things people do on their PC.

If you have a 6.4 million strong botnet, you can run anything Google wants on 10 different computers and still have 1.4 million hosts leftover.
(6.4 M - (500K * 10))

Do you think 10 distributed computers can give you uptime & processor power equal to Google's?
(I personally think the bandwidth claims are a load of crap, since the upload is what matters)

Could be put to good use (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583104)

The fact is that most Windows users firstly don't care what runs on their computer, and secondly don't use even a non-negligible fraction their computer's power.

Suggestions have been made, by frustrated sysadmins, for a "destructive" counter-virus, a large-scale attack that cripples botnets by destroying infected computers. That's not only morally wrong but also just impractical - the average computer user just buys a new computer, and all the virus does is destroy property to satisfy lust for vengeance. Value is lost.

A more practical idea may be to re-purpose this vast resource of free computing power and put it to better use than churning out advertisements. A botnet worm could instead hook these computers up to a grid computing project like Folding or SETI, or distributed file transfer, cloud storage, providing uncensored communication to authoritarian countries. The worm could at the same time inoculate computers against more damaging viruses and botnets. The user gets free protection instead of the overpriced crud by McAfee & co; the world gets free computing infrastructure, the internet gets less spam. Everybody gains value.

It would be like a very lenient security tax - for letting their computers pose a risk to the network at large, users donate a share of their computing power/bandwidth for the good of society, at no real cost to themselves.

(And yes, the obvious ethical dilemma here is whether it is morally wrong to manipulate a person's property without their knowledge or consent, even to their own benefit. This suggestion takes a strict utilitarian perspective, which doesn't always lead to the best option.)

Re:Could be put to good use (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583444)

Suggestions have been made, by frustrated sysadmins, for a "destructive" counter-virus, a large-scale attack that cripples botnets by destroying infected computers. That's not only morally wrong but also just impractical - the average computer user just buys a new computer, and all the virus does is destroy property to satisfy lust for vengeance. Value is lost.

Your argument sounds wrong and trite. If Billy-Bob's computer gets knocked out by a well-placed grey-hat command, for instance a MBR format, he will then either: go buy a new computer (with a more recent and hopefully less hole-ridden version of Windows on it). It may not be very ecological, but it's a WIN against the botnet. Or he'll get his brother in law to reinstall on his old hardware, hopefully better this time. His precious collection of prOn is not lost in either case so I really don't see the argument against this.

Re:Could be put to good use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31584712)

Slashdot's ironic quote of the day: "For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong."

It is true that it may present a win against the botnet, but I believe the OP's suggestion's point is that it provides the same benefit at less ecologic/economic cost.

Re:Could be put to good use (0, Flamebait)

flappinbooger (574405) | more than 3 years ago | (#31585070)

I could foresee that happening on a national level some day.

When you get your computer with windows 12 on it you automatically are a part of the ISA Net. ISA Net is the Information Safety Administration Network, and it is a vast command and control network providing constant real-time analysis of your computer for security purposes. Constant registry and system file monitoring. Once a threat is found on one if the ISA Net computers the signature is instantly propagated throughout the network, instantly squashing any attempt at subterfuge.

Failure to "participate" in the ISA Net is an immediate red flag that you are a terrorist at worst, a non-patriot at best, and re-education will be mandated - at your own expense. Obviously, "non-compliant" operating systems like the archaic and cobbled together linux will be forbidden, as they are a threat to national security and are only used by "information terrorists".

Unsupported assumptions. (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 3 years ago | (#31585576)

The fact is that most Windows users firstly don't care what runs on their computer, and secondly don't use even a non-negligible fraction their computer's power.

What a moronic statement. Where exactly did you pull this "fact" from? A common side-effect of malware infection is noticeably slow system performance, and I can assure you that users do care when their computers are sluggish to respond. If Windows users didn't care what ran on their computers, there would not be a huge worldwide market for antivirus software.

As for Windows users not using a "non-negligible" fraction of their computers power, that's equally moronic. Are you suggesting that, (as a Linux user perhaps), your disk is constantly grinding, or that your CPU or other resources are frequently pinned? If so, is that something to feel smug about?

Re:Could be put to good use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31586190)

Someone's going to do it. Might as well be the good guys.

Does this mean Microsoft has the lead? (3, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583120)

Does the fact that 100% of these machines run Windows XP/Vista/7 mean that Microsoft is the biggest supplier of Cloud OS computing software (if you disregard the small patches from the botnet owners)?

Nuclear cloud (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583126)

Not only does massive damage, affect the entire world climate, and those living around them mutates in so strange ways, that the only solution is reform... i mean, euthanasia.

Ya Know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583426)

I would much rather have Googles 500k machines than cornflickers 6 million e-machines any day of the week

Hey You... (2, Funny)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31583428)

..get off of my cloud!

Re:Hey You... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31583888)

but i want to use it to take over the world.... join my cloud and we will be twice a powerful

Social engineering... The worst culprit... (2, Interesting)

AgentMagneta (1773890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584200)

I might be offending some people. But botnets are not made by users who are technically proficent. Sometimes I find it interesting that you find Linux imperviuos to this threat... You would have to defend Linux like any other system... Just because, well most often than not it exploits the user. Not the os. I am a user like no other. I use Windows 7 and many microsoft os:es. And I can never think of any time in my 25 years of using a computer I really caught a virus... Finally after 10:s of years I got a virus scanner, haha. But to this date I have never had any use for it. But I always recommend a virus scanner to my friends. Virus operators just have to influence you personally to have a virus on your computer. Social engineering works much better than any technical exploit :( All you can do is to inform people of the dangers. And still we have people playing street games... :D

Re:Social engineering... The worst culprit... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#31584562)

I can remember once in the last 20 years that I had an honest-to-goodness virus on one of my computers. This was back in the DOS days, and I got it while pirating Novell Netware Lite.

To this day, I still keep some form of on-access anti-virus program running when using Windows, just in case.

That and, as someone else mentioned earlier, I rarely use all of my computer's processing power, so I can afford the slight performance hit an on-access scanner takes.

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