Laptop full of world’s worst viruses just sold for $1.3 million
The laptop is a piece of art, not a weapon and it is called ‘The Persistence of Chaos’
The laptop has six of history’s most damaging computer viruses, all of which caused billions of dollars’ worth of financial damage
Created by artist Guo O Dong, he created the piece to teach people the very real threat the digital world can have on us
A 10.2 inch Samsung Netbook from 2008 just sold for an impressive $1,345,000, it is also one of the most dangerous laptops in the world, containing six of the most financially damaging and globally impactful pieces of malware ever seen.
Bidding on the piece has now concluded at well over a million dollars. The laptop is called ‘The Persistence of Chaos’ and was created by artist Guo O Dong to highlight the threats of the digital world on the real world.
Speaking to The Verge, the artist said the following: “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 laptop was commissioned by cybersecurity firm DeepInstinct and is described by the artist as “a kind of bestiary — a catalogue of historical threats.”
If you’re wondering why on earth someone would shell out over a million for a rusty laptop teaming with malware, bear in mind that this is a collection of pieces of technology that stopped the world and took $95 billion away in a flash. All of that history is crammed into one place with this laptop. It is essentially proof of the power of the internet and a reminder of its dangers. This is as ‘Black Mirror’ as it gets.
The malware is as follows:
The ILOVEYOU virus, distributed via email and file sharing, affected 500,000+ systems and caused $15B in damages total, with $5.5B in damages being caused in the first week.
MyDoom, potentially commissioned by Russian e-mail spammers, was one of the fastest spreading worms. It's projected that this virus caused $38B in damages.
SoBig was a worm and trojan that circulated through emails as viral spam. This piece of malware could copy files, email itself to others, and could damage computer software/hardware. This piece of malware caused $37B in damages and affected hundreds of thousands of PCs.
WannaCry was an extremely virulent ransomware cryptoworm that also set up backdoors on systems. The attack affected 200,000+ computers across 150 countries, and caused the NHS $100M in damages with further totals accumulating close to $4B.
A sophisticated and evasive piece of malware that targeted users mainly in Latin America, DarkTequila stole bank credentials and corporate data even while offline. DarkTequila costed millions in damages across many users.
BlackEnergy 2 uses sophisticated rootkit/process-injection techniques, robust encryption, and a modular architecture known as a "dropper". BlackEnergy was used in a cyberattack that prompted a large-scale blackout in Ukraine in December 2015.