For a common person, a laptop carrying malware is anything but desirable. However, in the world of art, a laptop loaded with some of the most dangerous malware is up for auction. The Persistence of Chaos, made by contemporary internet artist Guo O Dong and cybersecurity firm Deep Instinct, is a Samsung laptop running six pieces of malware, including ILOVEYOU virus, MyDoom, BlackEnergy, DarkTequila, and the dreaded WannaCry that have caused financial damages totalling USD 95 billion. An art patron has paid $1.3 million (roughly Rs. 9 crore) for the tech equivalent.
The auction was live-streamed on Twitch. According to the auction website thepersistenceofchaos.com, the laptop carries six pieces of malware that have caused financial damages too. The laptop has been isolated and air-gapped to prevent against the spread of malware.
According to NDTV Gadgets, the featured viruses have names that could be mistaken for pop songs, but collectively have caused more than $95 billion in economic damage. The “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack of May 2017 was one of the biggest, affecting more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, and wreaking havoc on the National Health Service in Britain and Renault factories in France. “BlackEnergy” caused blackouts across Ukraine in December 2015. The oldest malware, “I Love You,” was an email attachment masquerading as a love letter in May 2000 that infected tens of millions of PCs on the Windows operating system.
Guo O Dong and Deep Instinct said they took steps to ensure the malware isn’t that dangerous. The laptop is air-gapped, which means that it’s not directly connected to the Internet and cannot spread the viruses to other networks.