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SETI@home virus

Convince millions that alien civilization has been detected
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(+5, -7)
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Write a virus (well, strictly, a worm) that behaves as follows.

1. When it arrives at a machine that isn't running SETI@home, it propagates itself in some fashion and then disappears without trace.

2. When it arrives at a machine that *is* running SETI@home, it propagates itself and then goes into hibernation waiting for a pre-specified date and time. At that moment, it diddles SETI@home so that the graphs go uncharacteristically spiky, and after a minute or so of this it pops up a notice saying something like "Hey, we found something really interesting here."

That's all. Result: no damage, but thousands of people around the world are briefly convinced that they have found evidence of alien civilization. It might even get on the news. That would be a bit more entertaining than deleting files and crashing computers.

g, Mar 21 2001

This is what they're on about http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/
[lubbit, Mar 21 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       I was hoping that this would be a virus that loads SETI@Home onto computers. Alas.   

       The SETI@Home staff already has information on their site explaining what will and will not happen if a computer detects an interesting signal, but I'm sure they would still end up having to deal with more overeager shmoes than they already do.
centauri, Mar 21 2001

       I copied the Seti@home box into paint then mucked about with it, wrote a message at the bottem saying that ET had been discovered and asking them is they wanted to try to communicate. Then I set it as my desktop wallpaper. You wouldnt believe how many people fell for it.   

       I changed it for a cure for cancer hoax wallpaper a few weeks ago.
Fireraven, Oct 06 2001

       Millions of people around the world sifting through obscure data, looking for cosmic clues, waiting for a fantastic, world-changing revelation... Why does SETI remind me so much of Christianity?
Ander, Sep 17 2003


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