[Israel.pm] Re: Talk on the meetings

Mike Tewner tewner at jct.ac.il
Mon Nov 14 13:27:53 PST 2005

Quoting David Baird <davidlbaird at gmail.com>:

>> MPI. This means writing a program that knows how to send itself to other
>> computers and share the processing load between them in a predetermined
>> way.
> Ah! You are referring to a denial of service virus or worm. Okay, I am
> in, I want to know how.

Well, Not really a DOS. You see, MPI isn't "designed to prevent 
legitimate users of a service from using that service [1]", though 
every MPI programmer has some time or another brought down 1 or more 
computers using it. There have been worms, though, that have been used 
for High Performance Crunching. Think of it as a Google Compute [2] 
worm; it installs the client and submits results using the attacker's 
account. Useful for crunching contests like D.net [3].

For those confused, MPI allows me to, say, compute the value of pi in 
parallel. In other words, instead of one computer cracking its head on 
the problem, MPI gives me the tools to have, say, 128 computers working 
on the problem together. Instead of buying an expensive supercomputer 
(>$500,000), a company/university could buy 128 dual CPU 
machines(~$200,000) (or start small at 8 or 16 computers). They could 
even use the computers they already own, especially during the night, 
when the computers are idle.

Concepts like this will be demonstrated in the presentation.

(My first experience with the PERL implementation of MPI was during 
YAPC2004. There was a great presentation given on the subject (except 
for the one participant who could not stop inturrupting by questioning 
the speaker's knowledge.) by Itzik Lerner. He has much more experience 
on the matter than me.)


[1] http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/denial_of_service.html
[2] http://toolbar.google.com/dc/offerdc.html
[3] http://www.distributed.net
> -David
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