author photo
By Bruce Sussman
Fri | May 24, 2019 | 1:00 PM PDT

This has to be a first: a malware infected laptop is about to sell for more than $1 million.

Not to be used for hacking, but instead, to be displayed as a work of art.

Artist makes malware infected laptop

Guo O Dong is a contemporary internet artist whose work typically critiques modern day extremes in online culture. This time, he's critiquing hackers and cybersecurity.

The work of art is titled "The Persistence of Chaos," a laptop infected with the top variants of malware that have caused about $95 billion in damage around the world.

Click the photo to start the malware laptop livestream (it looks like this):

malware-as-art

Major malware infection names

The laptop is infected with the following types of malware:

  • ILOVEYOU

    The ILOVEYOU virus, distributed via email and file sharing, affected 500,000+ systems and caused $15 billion in total damages, with $5.5B in damages caused in just the first week.

  • MyDoom

    MyDoom, potentially commissioned by Russian email spammers, was one of the fastest spreading worms. It's projected that this virus caused $38B in damages.

  • SoBig

    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

    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.

  • DarkTequila

    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 cost millions in damages across many users.

  • BlackEnergy

    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.

Cybersecurity for malware art

How do you carefully handle this kind of hacking power on a device? 

Artist Guo O Dong says it is currently air-gapped and, "It was created as a collaboration with cybersecurity company Deep Instinct, which provided the malware and technical expertise to execute the work in a safe environment."

So that's how you do it, apparently.

You can bid on the device over Memorial Day Weekend 2019.

However, the Samsung NC10, 10.2-inch Blue Netbook, running Windows XP, will set you back a few bucks. As of publishing, the top bid was more than $1.2 million U.S.

And be warned, this is not a hacking device. The purchase comes with some special conditions listed on the bidding page.

"By submitting a bid you agree and acknowledge that you’re purchasing this work as a piece of art or for academic reasons, and have no intention of disseminating any malware. Upon the conclusion of this auction and before the artwork is shipped, the computer’s internet capabilities and available ports will be functionally disabled."

We can't wait to hear who buys this malware infected piece of art. Could it be you?

And we won't be surprised if we hear people talking about it at the next SecureWorld cybersecurity conference.

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