A used Samsung NC10 costs less than $200. But a used Samsung NC10 with six of the most dangerous types of malware is apparently worth $1.345 million—so long as it’s art.
Internet artist Guo O Dong created the “The Persistence of Chaos” at the behest of cybersecurity company Deep Instinct. With the help of engineers, the artist installed six types of malware into the 2008 laptop.
According to the Verge, Guo chose the viruses based on the amount of financial havoc each has wreaked— BlackEnergy, DarkTequila, ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, and WannaCry, which was used in a cyberattack in May 2017 that was alleged to have originated in North Korea, and infected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries.
In a livestream on Twitch, the laptop can be seen turned on and running the viruses and malware. But the laptop wasn’t sold as a cyber weapon on a darkweb black market. It was sold as art.
The artist explained he wanted to create a physical representation of the worst cyber threats. “We have this fantasy that things that happen in computers can’t actually affect us, but this is absurd,” Guo told the Verge. “Weaponized viruses that affect power grids or public infrastructure can cause direct harm.”