A Piece of Art Consisting of a Laptop with Dangerous Viruses Is on Sale for More Than $1 Million

The artwork is meant to illustrate the real harm that malware can cause.

A laptop filled with six of the most dangerous malware is on sale for over $1 million. The old laptop, a Samsung NC10-14GB 10.2-Inch Blue Netbook from 2008, is a piece of art called The Persistence of Chaos by internet artist Guo O Dong

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Weaponized viruses

It is meant to illustrate the real harm that viruses can cause. “We have this fantasy that things that happen in computers can’t actually affect us, but this is absurd,” Dong told The Verge. “Weaponized viruses that affect power grids or public infrastructure can cause direct harm.”

The malwares it contains are ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, WannaCry, DarkTequila, and BlackEnergy. Each of these viruses caused nearly billions in damages. 

ILOVEYOU, for instance, caused $15 billion in damages total, with $5.5 billion in damages being caused in the first week, MyDoom caused $38 billion while SoBig caused $37 billion. But perhaps the most significant costs are those that cannot be measured financially.

Significant human harm

“WannaCry ... caused the [UK’s National Health Service] the equivalent of $100 million in damages and led to the cancellation of tens of thousands of doctors’ appointments,” Dong told The Verge. “It is not a leap to say this caused significant human harm, though it might be hard to pinpoint the effects exactly down to the patient.”

The artwork was commissioned by a cybersecurity firm called DeepInstinct. It is currently being live streamed online along with its rising price. But don't worry. It is perfectly safe as long as you don't connect it to Wi-Fi or put in a USB stick.

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