The power of creative misuse

News story of the day: two hackers pulled together the resources for a substantial botnet (e.g. one that could mine hundreds of dollars of cryptocurrency per day). But instead of doing it by taking over unknown people’s computers with viruses (that is, the traditional way), these two did it in a way that’s arguably both legal and ethical: through the use of free samples.

“We essentially built a supercomputer for free,” says Ragan

Specifically, they wrote a piece of code that would create email accounts and use them to create freemium or free trial accounts on cloud servers, giving them theoretically infinite processing power. While it was used for good – the pair work for a security consultancy – they’re presenting the caper as proof of online tools that need to be guarded more carefully. WIRED has the full story.


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