Malware Infected Laptop Purportedly Auctions For $1.35 Million

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The "Persistence of Chaos," a computer with six of the world's most costly viruses, sold for $1,345 million (Credit: thepersistenceofchaos.com)

Most people would find it hard to label a computer infected with six of the worst-known viruses, which combined have cost the world $95 billion, as art. However, Chinese digital artist Guo O Dong strongly believes his malware loaded "Persistence of Chaos"— a Samsung NC10, which runs on Windows XP — is a masterpiece. What's more, the creator claims to have sold the "artwork" to an anonymous buyer for an astounding $1.345 million in an online auction on May 25, 2019.

According to Dong's website, "Persistence of Chaos," which was built in collaboration with New York cybersecurity company Deep Instinct, contains six dangerous "worms." Among them is ILOVEYOU, a computer bug from 2000 that appeared as a “love letter” attached to emails and cost the world an estimated $15 billion. Then there is the Sobig worm, which doubled as a trojan horse — meaning it could masquerade as something other than malware — that set back computer users a costly $37 billion in 2003.

MyDoom is the world's costliest computer virus to date (Credit: gbhackers.com)

"Persistence of Chaos" also comes with MyDoom, a 2004 junk mail virus that holds the record for both the fastest spreading e-mail worm, and the costliest — it resulted in an estimated $38.5 billion in damage! Rounding up the deadly list is BlackEnergy, a 2007 malicious cyber-attack tool capable of bringing down computers and servers remotely; WannaCry, a 2017 crypto worm that hijacked business websites and forced companies to pay a ransom, and Dark Tequila, which stole financial information from blissfully oblivious Latin American computer owners in 2018.

Most computer viruses can be avoided with a few simple measures (Credit: massey.ac.nz)

Guo told The Verge that he created his masterpiece to demonstrate the abstract threats posed by the digital world. The contemporary artist said, “We have this fantasy that things that happen in computers can’t actually affect us, but this is absurd. Weaponized viruses that affect power grids or public infrastructure can cause direct harm."

Those worried the new owner might use his "artwork" to cause havoc worldwide can rest easy. In addition to the condition that the buyer purchase the infected computer for academic reasons with no "intention of disseminating any malware," Guo has also disabled the laptop’s internet capabilities and available ports. As long as the "Persistence of Chaos" remains in this condition, there is little danger of it causing any harm.

Resources: digitaltrends.com, theverge.com, thepersistenceofchaos.com

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239 Comments
  • blozheadz78
    blozheadz78Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 8:51 am
    This is the weirdest thing ever! Why would someone sell a computer with viruses on it?
    • pm-olm
      pm-olmMonday, December 2, 2019 at 4:03 pm
      This dude is crazy
      • buxix
        buxixThursday, November 28, 2019 at 10:06 am
        What the heck is wrong with this person? The computer is infected and they won't even be able to use it.
        • the_t_hacker
          the_t_hackerWednesday, November 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm
          why would someone DO that??????
          • TheViewerFriday, November 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm
            why why would someone even buy an outdated computer with viruses that pretty much make the computer and for that much?!
            • princeender
              princeenderWednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12:07 pm
              destroy all viruses and why so much money for an INFECTED COMPUTER when you could buy the real thing for cheaper!
              • 2ortizem
                2ortizemFriday, November 1, 2019 at 11:35 am
                Sometimes you can't get rid of all the viruses in a short period f time. They are purchasing this so they can see what made the viruses hit so hard and so we can be better prepared next time.
              • bookwormgmes
                bookwormgmesTuesday, October 29, 2019 at 10:49 am
                This is absolutely CRAZY. This costs WAAAAAAY too much money.
                • ticktok
                  ticktokTuesday, October 22, 2019 at 8:09 pm
                  Whoa that is way to much money.And viruses that is so uncool mm😑
                  • AERA 54Friday, October 18, 2019 at 5:48 am
                    This is cool, but the price is insane
                    • am-olm1
                      am-olm1Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm
                      Even if I was a BILLIONAIRE I would not buy that.