Bidding on an old laptop with the world’s most dangerous malware ended today, with the final price coming in at a whopping $1.345 million. The laptop, dubbed “The Persistence of Chaos”- is an old Samsung NC10 laptop. The laptop contains six viruses that collective cost the world over $95 billion in damages.
Don’t worry too much though; the laptop isn’t intended to be some kind of electronic nuclear device or weapon for wold domination. It is meant to be nothing more than an art piece – and possibly for academic purposes – and it remains completely isolated and air-gapped to prevent anyone doing anything wrong with it.
The “piece” was commissioned by cybersecurity firm Deep Instinct. It was created by the artist Guo O Dong, who said that the piece was a way to give a physical form to the abstract cyber threats. To take something electronic and give it a body. The laptop contains the most dangerous viruses in the world, including the WannaCry virus. The virus infected over 200,000 computers in over 150 countries, causing nearly $4 billion in damages. It also houses BlackEnergy, which was responsible for shutting down a power grid in Ukraine. The other viruses are SoBig, MyDoom, ILOVEYOU, and DarkTequila, and it serves as a reminder that ransomware can, will, and does cause real-world harm when it infects computers.
The good news is that the laptop is completely harmless while it is air-gapped and isolated. It could be compared to some kind of ancient weaponry. Provided that the laptop is left on the shelf and you don’t take the pin out of the grenade – or connect the computer to a USB device or the internet in this case – then it should be safe. While the viruses are still capable of doing damage, they are outdated in the sense that there’s already new ransomware running rampant across the world.
It’s fair to say that if Guo O Dong plans on making another iteration of the Persistence of Chaos, there’s plenty of viruses to work with. Let’s hope that the person who spent close to one-and-a-half-million dollars on the most dangerous laptop in the world keeps it under wraps.