Malware Infected Laptop Purportedly Auctions For $1.35 Million

By

CCSS NCSS-7

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

Cite Article
Vocabulary List
abstractabsurdanonymousastoundingcollaborationcontemporarydisabledhavocinfectedinfrastructuremaliciousmalware masquerademasterpieceobliviousransomremotelytrojan horse
203 Comments
  • Goofy Goober kMonday, September 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm
    its 2019 what do you expect of course its a lot of money
    • HackerMonday, September 9, 2019 at 9:55 am
      Why so much money??
      • HackerSunday, September 8, 2019 at 6:07 pm
        Wow
        • hackerThursday, September 5, 2019 at 6:17 pm
          cool
          • DreamyDragonThursday, September 5, 2019 at 7:46 am
            WOW
            • popWednesday, September 4, 2019 at 11:05 am
              wow thats alot of damage
              • 2ortizem
                2ortizemWednesday, September 4, 2019 at 6:36 am
                NOW THAT'S A LOT OF DAMAGE
                • WotMonday, September 2, 2019 at 3:27 am
                  Wow!
                  • ghost_dk_diemx
                    ghost_dk_diemxSunday, September 1, 2019 at 8:57 pm
                    Wow..............
                    • ihd7
                      ihd7Sunday, September 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm
                      Black hat hackers really want to cause havoc...