[ExI] 2^57885161-1

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Feb 9 00:35:23 UTC 2013

>... On Behalf Of BillK
Subject: Re: [ExI] 2^57885161-1

On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 3:39 PM, spike  wrote:
>>... We could use them to find out of some sneaky virus has invaded our 
> computer which is quietly running its own background process...But
Microsloth apparently didn't like to 
> advertise the absurdity of Idle Process being persistently 96 to 99 
> percent of the CPU "usage" so just now I notice that isn't in there

>...System Idle Process is still there in Windows 7 Task Manager.
You have to tick the box 'Show processes from all users' at the

Thanks BillK!  You computer gurus on ExI never let me down.  Even after all
these years, I am still so clumsy with operating systems.  Not enough
mathematical logic in the design causes them to be difficult for me to
understand.  This button with Show processes from all users is a perfect

Now, this is what I meant by the original post.  Imagine some yahoo wrote a
virus which would install a piece of code which would only run when nothing
is going on with the keyboard, then sat back there quietly chewing away on
Mersenne numbers.  You could easily load up a computer with enough numbers
that it would work for years or even decades, and still have only a kb in
the program.  For instance, the candidate Mersenne numbers would by 8
decimal digits each, so about 27 bits would be used up per month (apologies
again for assuming a bunch of knowledge from those who don't think about
this kind of thing all the time.)  Then, the yahoo could rig the virus to
report out its result only if the Mersenne number is shown to be prime.
This it could do by posting the result to some public site which the yahoo
knows will be there and the URL will not change forever, such as the weather
channel or a local school's website, which will forever be
FestrunkElementary.edu for instance.  Then the program could go out there
and post the result in such a way that it wouldn't draw attention and
wouldn't be traceable.

For instance, if the virus ever finds a Mersenne prime, it would then post
to Festrunk the following message "Nice day to take my aardvaark for a walk,
then perhaps I will go see the kayak race, if the clouds break up, but first
I need to call {first three digits} - {next three digits} - {last two
digits} 73, to get a weather report."

Then she sets up a google alert to point out whenever any website has all
three words aardvaark, kayak and cloud, with an intentional misspelling of
the beast, this being an example of three words seldom found in the same
paragraph.  It could hand back the answer in such a way that it wouldn't be
recognized by anyone.

This scheme would allow a yahoo to functionally steal background processor
time, with very little risk of ever getting caught because there would be no
link back to the perp. 


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