Having a virus on our computer is among our worst nightmares. Much money is spent specifically trying to avoid our computers coming down with such a thing. There is definite fear attached.
That’s why it makes it extra-curious that a man has specifically created the most dangerous situation with a computer, only to put it up for sale. Internet artist Guo O Dong loaded up a laptop with six of the most dangerous malware and is selling it for more than $1 million.
Virus-Filled Computer for Sale
Guo claims the reason behind creating this “artwork” is to bring awareness to the digital availability of physical and abstract threats.
“We have this fantasy that things that happen in computers can’t actually affect us, but this is absurd,” explained Guo. “Weaponized viruses that affect power grids or public infrastructure can cause direct harm.”
The laptop being used for this is a 10.2-inch Samsung NC10-14GB. The six viruses Guo chose to load on this laptop were chosen specifically because of the great amount of damage they have caused.
One of those bugs is the ILOVEYOU virus that appeared as a “love letter” attached to emails in 2000.
Another is the ransomware attack WannaCry that shut down hospital computers all over the world a couple years back. The attack was blamed on North Korea.
Guo sees WannaCry as a fitting example of how digital attacks can affect things physically. He cites that it “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.”
“It is not a leap to say this caused significant harm, though it might be hard to pinpoint the effects exactly down to the patient,” he adds
But ransomware attacks are a continuing problem. The city of Baltimore, Maryland, is still dealing with a ransomware attack that has frozen the government’s system for the past month.
Guo believes the six viruses he put together on the laptop have caused financial damage of around $95 billion. Cybersecurity firm DeepInstinct commissioned this laptop and is auctioning it online. The price is currently above $1.2 million.
The Laptop’s True Motivation
Guo sees this particular piece of his artwork as “a kind of bestiary — a catalog of historical threats.” It almost seems that instead of a wealthy person buying it that it should be sitting in some type of Internet museum somewhere.
What possible reasons could there be for owning this computer loaded with six extremely harmful viruses, especially because it’s only safe as long as you don’t plan to use Wi-FI or plug anything into the USB report? Would you want to own it? Let us know your thoughts on Guo’s artwork in the comments section below.