Laptop Full of Malware Sells for $1.3 Million

It's an art piece containing six pieces of malware responsible for $95 billion worth of damage, and it just sold at auction for $1.345 million.
Laptop Full of Malware Sells for $1.3 Million
Image credit: via PC Mag

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Senior Editor
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Nobody would deliberately install malware on a laptop they intend to use, but doing so in the name of art turns out to be very lucrative. One such laptop containing six different malware infections just sold at auction for $1.345 million.

As Engadget reports, the laptop forms an art piece called "The Persistence of Chaos" commissioned by cybersecurity company Deep Instinct and created by contemporary internet artist Guo O Dong. It uses a blue 10.2-inch Samsung NC10-14GB laptop from 2008 which runs Windows XP SP3 and has been air gapped "to prevent against spread of the malware."

What makes the laptop an art piece is the software it contains. In total, six different pieces of malware are installed and active including ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, WannaCry, DarkTequila, and BlackEnergy. These viruses were spread via email and file-sharing networks and take the form of worms, trojans, backdoors and rootkits to infect a system. In total, these six pieces of malware account for around $95 billion worth of damage through the infection of millions of systems.

Although the laptop still proves dangerous, the malware it contains now forms a part of history and cybercrime has moved on. Even so, The Persistence of Chaos proved to be of great interest with the auction site livestreaming the air gapped laptop running all the malware.

The final bid was made yesterday, with the lucky winner agreeing to pay $1.345 million for the piece. It's an incredible amount to pay for a Windows XP netbook which cost $499 to purchase new back in 2008.

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