Botnets in general, and in most cases, are used in a destructive and harmful way, being so that it considered to be a malware. Having said that, there are plenty of good examples of uses for botnets, some which, will be here highlighted.

  • SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

    SETI

    SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)[1] is a scientific area whose goal is to detect intelligent life outside Earth. One of the ways SETI has of exploiting this scientific area is radio SETI, which uses radio telescopes to listen for narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. Such signals are not known to occur naturally, so a detection would provide evidence of extra-terrestrial technology.

    Radio telescope signals consist primarily of noise (from celestial sources and the receiver’s electronics) and man-made signals such as TV stations, radar, and satellites. Modern radio SETI projects analyse the data digitally.

    More computing power enables searches to cover greater frequency ranges with more sensitivity.

    Radio SETI, therefore, has an insatiable appetite for computing power.

    Previous radio SETI projects have used special-purpose supercomputers, located at the telescope, to do the bulk of the data analysis. In 1995, David Gedye proposed doing radio SETI using a virtual supercomputer composed of large numbers of Internet-connected computers, and he organized the [email protected] project to explore this idea. [email protected] was originally launched in May 1999.

    This insatiable hunger from more computacional power along with David Gedye’s work gave the world a very good example of what a botnet can do of good.

    Reference SETIHome[1]

  • GPUGRID.net

    GPUGRID

    GPUGRID.net[2] is a volunteer distributed computing project for biomedical research from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain). GPUGRID is made of many graphics cards (GPUs) joined together to deliver high-performance all-atom biomolecular simulations. The molecular simulations performed by our volunteers are some of the most common types performed by scientists in the field, but they are also some of the most computationally demanding and usually require a supercomputer.

    Running GPUGRID on GPUs innovates volunteer computing by delivering supercomputing class applications on a cost effective infrastructure which will greatly impact the way biomedical research is performed. Our activities pursue exclusively scientific and academic goals, with the invaluable help of all the volunteers that donate computing power to the GPUGRID.net project in order to advance scientific research.

    Reference GPUGRID.net[2]

Both examples above are good examples of good uses for botnets and also a demonstration of their power. Also, both have their base struture done using BOINC[3] which is the software module that allows the harvesting off all that essencial com computational power. With BOINC and along side GPUGRID.net and SETI are many other projects[4] with botnets are an essencial part of and help them further whatever their investigation is about.

Reference BOINC[3] Reference Other Projects Using BOINC[4]