The news that we share with you today will surprise you.
A laptop with 6 of the most destructive malware threats ever was auctioned for $1.3 million.
WannaCry, BlackEnergy, ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, DarkTequila. If you are even slightly aware of the cyber security space, or have read a confusing post on Facebook about the vulnerability of your Windows PC, you’ve heard at least one of these names. They are some of the most destructive malwares ever released into the connected world, causing nearly $100 billion in related damages.
Known as ‘The Persistence of Chaos’ was created by Chinese Internet artist Guo O Dong and commissioned by Deep Instinct, a New York-based cybersecurity firm. This piece of art is an ordinary laptop filled with six world’s most dangerous pieces of malware. It’s perfectly safe as long you don’t connect to your Wi-Fi or plug in a USB.
The artist Guo O Dong says the intention behind the laptop was to make physical the abstract threats posed by the digital world.
“We have this fantasy that things that happen in computers can’t actually affect us, but this is absurd,” says Guo. “Weaponized viruses that affect power grids or public infrastructure can cause direct harm.”
The six viruses in the laptop (a 10.2-inch Samsung NC10-14GB) were chosen for the magnitude of economic damage they’ve caused. The viruses have names that could be mistaken for pop songs.
They include the ILOVEYOU virus, a computer bug from 2000 that often appeared as a “love letter” attached to emails; and WannaCry, a ransomware attack that shut down computers in hospitals and factories across the world in 2017. “BlackEnergy” caused blackouts across Ukraine in December 2015.
Guo and Deep Instinct said they took steps to ensure the malware isn’t dangerous. The laptop is “air-gapped,” meaning it’s not directly connected to the Internet and cannot spread the viruses to other networks. Its Internet capabilities will be disabled before it is shipped to the winning bidder.
Guo first made headlines with his art in 2017, with a piece of performance art involving the artist riding a Segway while walking a hipster on a leash through the streets of Brooklyn.