No one wants to use a laptop infected with computer viruses, right? What about a laptop with the six most dangerous computer malware ever, installed in it? Well, it just sold for 1.3 million USD at an online auction.
The laptop named “The Persistence of Chaos” has been created by Chinese artist Guo O Dong. The buyer is anonymous but there is a lot of information about the laptop. Dong collaborated with a cybersecurity company, Deep Instinct to load the laptop with the dangerous viruses. Deep Instinct is the first company to use deep learning technology for cybersecurity and it can detect even unknown malware across all range of devices.
The laptop is an ordinary 10.2 inch Samsung NC10-14GB running Windows XP. It is airgapped which means that it cannot be used for connecting to other networks. The 6 pieces of malware running in it have caused financial damages totalling 95 billion USD in the past.
The 6 malware are ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, WannaCry, DarkTequila and BlackEnergy.
Guo commented that these softwares may seem abstract with their funny names, but it emphasizes the fact that web and real life are not separate spaces. Malware is a significant way to demonstrate how the apparently fun and harmless Internet can create a huge mess in your real life.
ILOVEYOU is a virus that was distributed through e-mail and virtual file sharing, affecting almost 500,000 machines and causing damage of 15 billion USD. It came with the email subject header “ILOVEYOU” and deleted the local files in the machine when executed.
MyDoom was created by Russian spammers and it remains the fastest spreading worm till date. It targeted specific servers and the damage caused by it is projected to be 38 billion USD.
SoBig remains the second fastest computer worm only surpassed by MyDoom. It is not only a computer worm, spreading by self-replication but also a Trojan Horse pretending to be some other application.
WannaCry is a ransomware cryptoworm which targeted machines running Windows operating system. It encrypted files and asked for ransom payments to be made through Bitcoins.
DarkTequila is a complex malware running mainly in Latin American countries intended to steal financial information as well as login credentials of popular websites. And finally, there is BlackEnergy which is a web toolkit designed to execute DDoS attacks. In December 2015, it caused a huge blackout in Ukraine.
The laptop has been live-streamed online to make sure no sudden moves are performed. It may seem absurd that an old laptop is fetching so much money but according to Guo, he thinks of the artwork as a catalogue of historical threats.
After listening to this news, I think that many of you would be interested in getting malware into your laptops and then selling them. Tell us what do you think, with a short and quick comment.