An old laptop, loaded with six of the worst computer viruses in the world, was recently auctioned for about $ 1.3 million.
The “art project” was created by Internet artist Guo O Dong, and worked with Deep Instinct, a cyber security company to implement it. Guo O Dong calls the “work” of The Persistence of Chaos and consists of a 2008 Samsung NC10-14GB laptop with a 10.2-inch screen running “six” infected Windows XP SP3 operating system one of the most devastating pieces of malware ever.
According to the website The Verge, which contacted the artist, Guo O Dong chose these viruses because of their catastrophic consequences, both digitally and physically. The viruses are named ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, WannaCry, DarkTequila and BlackEnergy. “These pieces of software look so abstract, almost fake with their funny names, but I think they emphasize that the web and real life are no different places. Malware is one of the simplest ways the internet can get out of your screen and bite you, “Guo O Dong told The Verge and added:” We imagine that what happens on computers doesn’t really affect us , but that’s absurd. Viruses used as weapons that can affect electricity networks or public infrastructure can cause real and immediate damage. ”
The ILOVEYOU virus, distributed via email and file sharing applications, affected more than 500,000 computer systems and caused a total of $ 15 billion in damage. In the first week of the outbreak, $ 5.5 billion of damage was caused.
The MyDoom ‘worm’ was one of the fastest-growing worms. According to rumors, Russian email spammers had “ordered” the creation of this particular worm, which caused a total loss of $ 38 billion.
SoBig was transmitted (essentially malware / trojan with worm properties) via phishing messages. The malware could copy files and send emails to computer user contacts and more. SoBig worm affected hundreds of thousands of computers and caused $ 37 billion in damage.
WannaCry was a highly infectious cryptoworm / ransomware that also created “backdoors” on computer systems. The ransomware attack affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries and caused damage to the UK National Health Organization of € 100 million. At a global level, losses totaled nearly $ 4 billion.
Sophisticated malware aimed primarily at users in Latin America. DarkTequila stole bank credentials and corporate data even when offline and cost many millions of dollars.
BlackEnergy, and later the improved BlackEnergy 2 and 3 that expanded beyond DDoS attacks, utilizes sophisticated rootkit / process-injection techniques, robust encryption and a modular architecture known as “dropper”. BlackEnergy was used in a cyberattack that triggered a large-scale blackout in Ukraine in December 2015.
In its “isolated” form, the laptop is harmless, unless one wants to unlock the … grenade, connecting it to a corporate network or WiFi, etc. Of course, the viruses that it has are of some age, but it can cause a lot of damage. “The Persistance of Chaos” was eventually sold to a buyer for $ 1,345 million.