'Distributed' Web Projects Raise Security Issues
Source: Newsbytes - Posted by Jen Olson   
Network Security The projects' creators describe them as akin to digital ant colonies. They are networks composed of millions of computers working together across the Internet to solve some of the world's most intractable problems: analyzing possible cures for cancer or AIDS, scouting . . . The projects' creators describe them as akin to digital ant colonies. They are networks composed of millions of computers working together across the Internet to solve some of the world's most intractable problems: analyzing possible cures for cancer or AIDS, scouting the universe for signs of life, or even cracking a code for prize money.

The machines are ordinary PCs. Volunteers need only download a free screensaver to participate. The software program harnesses any leftover processing power, without interrupting a volunteer's normal activities, and diverts it to tackle some large computing problem. In this way, average citizens are helping scientists help the world.

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