Although an attempt to use a botnet to mine bitcoins recently ended with little palpable success for the hackers, it did showcase one of the latest criminal innovations and a possible indications of things to come.

Could this also have bona fide commercial application? The latest iteration of the sharing economy could see us renting out our toasters, fridges and sound-systems to 'whitehat' botnets in exchange for a share of the mining rewards.