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Thread: PC usrs needed for Anthrax tests

  1. #1

    Exclamation PC usrs needed for Anthrax tests

    This article is from Yahoo!
    The full story can be viewedhere.

    A group of scientists and major technology corporations asked people around the world on Tuesday to use their personal computers to help develop a treatment for anthrax.
    Members of the Anthrax Research Project, including chip maker Intel Corp. , software giant Micro$oft, computing services provider United Devices Inc., the National Foundation for Cancer Research and Oxford University, announced the effort in a press release.

    Individuals can participate in the project by downloading a screen saver at and donating their personal computer's spare resources to build a virtual supercomputer capable of analyzing billions of molecules in a fraction of the time it would take in a laboratory, the group said.

    The screen saver runs whenever computation resources are available. Once processing is complete, the program sends the results back to the United Devices' data center and requests a new packet of data the next time the user connects to the Internet.

    The United Devices program incorporates a comprehensive system of security and privacy technologies to protect user privacy, the group said.

    Anthrax was used in tainted letters through the U.S. mail in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, killing five people and infecting 13 others since early October.

    The initiative is modeled on the Intel-United Devices Cancer Research Project, which utilized the computing power of 1.3 million personal computers around the world to provide scientists access to a virtual supercomputer more powerful than the world's 10 largest supercomputers combined, the group said.

    The anthrax project will draw upon the same distributed computing technology to help scientists screen 3.5 billion molecular compounds against the fatal anthrax toxin protein.

    Results of the project will be made available to the United States, Great Britain and other governments for further development and research.

    ``Without this technology and support of the coalition, there would be no other way to tackle such a tremendous task.'' Graham Richards, scientific director of the project at Oxford, said in the press release.

    ...This "virtual supercomputer" uses peer-to-peer technology..
    More about the program can be fount here:

    - Now, what if some malacious h4x0r edited this program to be used for illegal and illegitament purposes? Hmm... sounds like a virus, DoS, or DDoS waiting to happen. Take a DDoS for example. If a user could spread the virus to ppl and infect them with it they could launch a major attack with all of those resources and access to ppls PCs. What do you think would happen if this event occured?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Eh, there have been several of these "distributed supercomputing" projects, most notably setia@home (which was one of the first major ones recognized by the media), and I can't say that I've heard about anyone complaining about security. If it's anytihng like set@home, you have the option of letting it automatically go online to get a new chunk of data, or manually doing it. Really, I don't see there being any security issues if you just do it manually.

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