The Conficker worm has been around for a couple of years. From the off, those working in the security sector knew it was an intricate piece of coding, but little did they know how advanced its developers were and still are. I've just read an article about the history of Conficker and it blew my mind. I couldn't help but respect the coders behind it when I first heard about it - the way the worm worked was verging on the beautiful. Alas, I moved on and didn't really keep up with the news on Conficker. News channels don't tell you the advances different worms and viruses make with each new iteration. Even most of the big tech sites don't, so to finally learn how Conficker worked was an eye-opening experience. It's slowly occurring to me that my real passion in Computer Science is algorithms - a well-coded algorithm gets me excited. My dissertation next year will hopefully be on self-assembling algorithms (algorithms inspired by biological self-assembling structures, such as DNA) so... yeah... Conficker is... beautiful. It's a work of art. The methods it employs are incredibly clever and the minds behind it are geniuses; what I wouldn't give to pick them apart and see what else they know! But I digress. The article is linked below. It's a very good read, and I strongly urge anyone with an interest or background in Computing to give it a look. I think even the "mundane" should skim through it, though their thoughts will be those of fear rather than admiration, I feel. The Enemy Within - Magazine - The Atlantic A quick fact - experts believe Conficker has infected between 9 million and 15 million computers. Either way, it has created the largest botnet in history... and it hasn't done anything. It might as well be benign... but the potential is there. Huge potential. In the worst case scenario, imagine what can be done with the computing power of fifteen million machines. The awesome power of so many machines. They could do just about anything. DISCLAIMER: Don't take this thread as me condoning the worm. Ho no. I may be a computer scientist in love, but that doesn't mean I don't grasp the ethical connotations of the worm - it might not have done anything, but it should be thought of as terribly destructive, which is a very bad thing.