People usually spend a lot of money to keep malware and viruses off of their PCs, but a Memorial Day auction saw someone spend $1.345 million on one that’s infested with digital bugs.
The laptop, loaded with six types of malware that collectively have reportedly caused over $95 billion in damages, is actually a work of art, called The Persistence of Chaos. Designed by Guo O Dong, who describes himself as a “contemporary internet artist,” it was made in conjunction with cybersecurity company Deep Instinct, which provided the malware and ensured the work was created in a safe environment.
The laptop itself is a classic—a 2008 Samsung NC10-14GB 10.2-Inch Blue Netbook running Windows XP.
The viruses? Those are classics, too:
- ILOVEYOU, which caused $5.5 billion in damages during its first week of existence
- MyDoom, which authorities believe was commissioned in Russia
- SoBig, which has infected hundreds of thousands of PCs
- WannaCry, a ransomware program
- Dark Tequila, which stole bank credentials even when the user was offline
- Black Energy, which was behind 2015’s large scale blackout in the Ukraine
That’s a lot of viral firepower, but the computer itself is effectively neutered. It has been isolated and air-gapped from other machines during its creation and its internet capabilities and available ports will be “functionally disabled” before it’s delivered to the anonymous buyer.
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