No, stop thinking Pooh Bear. Honey Pot's; traps for capturing malicious users and/or software. I read an interesting article today in the NYTimes. Sandia National Laboraties in Livermore, CA has setup a large Linux Honeypot called 'MegaTux' aptly named after it's OS namesakes' mascot; 'Tux' the Penguin.

This Dell Thunderbird supercomputer, amongst one of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, has been setup to try and 'research' a current problem on the internet. 'Botnets', malicious software that many people innocently download and by doing so unbeknowingly end up turning their PC into a Zombie.

These 'Zombie' PC's can then be controlled from a central source to form a supercomputer, abusing the processing power of thousands of personal computers around the world to propegate SPAM, run illegal websites, and in some cases launch 'Cyberwarfare'. Did you ever watch Star Trek. Think Cyborgs and an interconnected collective and you're not far from the mark. It's all rather domesday sounding.

Fortunately, for the majority of us, should we be unlucky enough to fall prey to malicious software,  we'll only end up contributing to the plethora of SPAM floating around the internet and running the odd Warez site.

However, the conspiracist in me would have me believe that this is all in response to recent accusatory reports in the media of Cyber Attacks from North Korea earlier this month.

Botnets are tricky, finding the source and shutting it down. It's like Medusa from Greek Mythology unless you can kill the source new heads simply re-appear. The concept of 'cells' is everywhere and none more prominent in todays world then 'terrorist cells'. This research is an excellent opportunity to study patterns, to track 'the collective', understand how it works and ultimately control it. Infrastructures, even countries depend on the internet's resourcefulness. Who would have thought that a series of ones and zeros could now become an invisible foe.

As we head towards a Semantic Web and Cloud Computing, with more and more information stored and shared online could we be held to randsom with it one-day ?

It does make you wonder sometimes about the mysterious undertones that the internet can hide. Technology, as they say, is only limited by the imagination. For now I'll contently continue to surf Facebook !