300,000 Android ‘Phones’ Roam a Virtual Town

A small team of cybersecurity researchers have lashed the computers together to form a homebrew computing cluster. They are stacked five levels high, braced in impromptu fashion with metal girders in the event of earthquakes, and woven together with colorful Ethernet cables. They serve as a cyber-Potemkin village — a distributed software simulation that is intended to mimic the behavior of an entire city’s worth of Android smartphones.