Malware Riddled Laptop Sells For $1.3m

A used laptop has been sold in an online auction for $1.3m after it was infected with six of the world’s most dangerous and destructive malware strains.

The laptop in question is a Samsung NC10 running Windows XP that dates from 2008. A typical used example retails for over £100, but this malware ridden device has been sold for $1.3m as a piece of art.

The infected laptop was created Internet artist Guo O Dong who called it “The Persistence of Chaos”. Engineers from cybersecurity company Deep Instinct installed the malware on the machine.

Destructive malware

So what malware nastiness does this laptop contain?

Well it contains the infamous ILOVEYOU virus from 2000, which infected millions of computers around the world.

It also included was the WannaCry ransomware that struck countless organisations around the world in 2017.

Other malware included was the MyDoom worm, thought to be commissioned by Russian email spammers; the SoBig worm and trojan; DarkTequila that stole bank credentials and corporate data mostly in South America, and finally the BlackEnergy trojan that used in a cyberattack that prompted a large-scale blackout in Ukraine in December 2015.

All six of these malware infections was said to have caused financial damages totailing $95 billion.

It should be noted that purchasing a piece of tech like this would be illegal in the United States, but for the fact that it is classified as a piece of art.

That said, the laptop is said to be “isolated and airgapped to prevent against spread of the malware.”

“The sale of malware for operational purposes is illegal in the United States,” said the artist’s website. “As a buyer you recognize that this work represents a potential security hazard. 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,” the auction states.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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