Legitimate botnet (zombie) farming?

If this doesn't exist yet, I have no doubt whatsoever that it's not far away.

Is there a company doing legitimate zombie farming? ie, a cloud of computers running a local server which process data from a centralised distributor? People do it illegally, selling processing power from trojan infected machines, but is anyone doing it as a legal business?

Imagine you could download a small application which sits in memory and draws off a certain percentage of your CPUs runtime, depending on the machine's usage. This processing power would form part of a cloud sourced supercomputer, with runtime sold to whoever. And say you were paid maybe a couple of dollars per 24 hours of processing, depending on CPU speed. Leaving a couple computers on 24 7 would add up to a not inconsiderable sum per month. You could salvage some old machines and leave them going in the basement.

I've worked at animation studios, as an example, and for sure they would be keen to, rather than intermittently hire a room full of fast machines as a render farm, outsource it to a cloud.
SETI did it.

Like I say, if this isn't already being done, it will be soon.

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This is kind of being implemented but without pay. I know some institute is using it to look for aliens. And it is currently more ethical to just use the supercomputer for most everything instead of having it have to wade through massive data.
zoone6 years ago
lol when you said zombie farming i thout something completely different
same lol
SolarFlower_org (author) 6 years ago
Grids sound like clouds by another name, so yeah, basically that.

What I mean is, currently there exist zombie farms, which are large numbers of computers all unknowingly infected with something like a remote access trojan. The zombie farmer then sells processing time to third parties, usually for sending out spam. I was just thinking, if it's already a seemingly viable business, why not legitimise it? It doesn't have to be viruses and spam, but more like the SETI distributed processing thing that's been going on for years now.

Like I say, I've worked at animation studios going up against a deadline which have had to rapidly procure and setup beefy computers to fill shortfalls in render processing. A cloud could be a lot more practical and cheap. Possibly.

It may be that there's no viable economic model for it, but I'm thinking there probably is.
kelseymh6 years ago
Aren't you just talking about grid computing? If not, can you cite a source which describes what you mean in more detail?