Cybercrime Turns Artform: Laptop Loaded with Malware Sells for $1.3 Million

Giulio Saggin
Giulio Saggin
Tuesday, 28 November 2023

A laptop called "The Persistence of Chaos" has sold for $1.3 million.

Why? Because cyber crime has (finally) crossed over into art.

When a shark floating in formaldehyde sells for a reported (at least) $8 million, why not load up a laptop with half-a-dozen malware samples that, combined, have caused damage worth more than $95 billion, and call it art.

That's what Chinese Internet artist Guo O Dong has done. Once again, why? Because he was commissioned to do so by Deep Instinct, a New York-based cybersecurity firm.

The laptop is a Samsung NC10-14GB 10.2-Inch Blue Netbook (2008) running Windows XP SP3. And the malware in question? ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, WannaCry, DarkTequila, and BlackEnergy.

It was auctioned on a website set up for the occasion and showed the laptop via a livestream (above image).

Whether you think this is art or not, it's a reminder of the real threat of cybercrime, especially when a business somewhere in the world suffers a ransomware attack every 14 seconds and the global cost of cybercrime is over $600 billion.

P.S. Deep Instinct supplied Guo with the malware and worked to guard against the malware 'escaping'.

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