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This Laptop Has Six Dangerous Viruses; Now On Sale For More Than US$1 Million

It's been turned into an art piece due to having six of the world’s most dangerous viruses

It sounds like anything can be turned into a piece of art these days, and looks like that saying is going strong with this latest entry. Created by internet artist Guo O Dong, this latest art piece being offered and called 'The Persistence of Chaos' is definitely a dangerous yet odd one that's actually being sold for more than US$1 Million (over MYR4 million). 

What Guo O Dong created was just an ordinary 10.2-inch Samsung NC10-14GB laptop that's filled with six of the world's most dangerous malware. Yes. Six. The artist told The Verge that the goal with the laptop was to make what's considered abstract threats posed by the digital world become physical manifestations for all. 

“We have this fantasy that things that happen in computers can’t actually affect us, but this is absurd,” says Guo. “Weaponised viruses that affect power grids or public infrastructure can cause direct harm."

As such, the six viruses in the laptop were chosen for the magnitude of economic damage they’ve caused. This includes the ILOVEYOU virus, a computer bug from 2000 that often appeared as a “love letter” attached to emails; and WannaCry, a ransomware attack that shut down computers in hospitals and factories around the world in 2017, and which intelligence agencies blamed on North Korea. 

According to Guo, WannaCry is the perfect example of how digital attacks can have physical consequences. “WannaCry ... caused the [UK’s National Health Service] the equivalent of US$100 million in damages and led to the cancellation of tens of thousands of doctors’ appointments,” he says. “It is not a leap to say this caused significant human harm, though it might be hard to pinpoint the effects exactly down to the patient.” 

The piece was commissioned by cybersecurity firm DeepInstinct, and is currently being auctioned online. There is a live stream of the laptop to keep an eye on the rising price tag, which currently sits above US$1.2 million. That may seem like a lot to pay for an old laptop riddled with malware, but Guo says he likes to think of the artwork as “a kind of bestiary — a catalogue of historical threats.” 

So yeah, guess if you have a laptop filled with malware and viruses, offer to sell it online as a piece of art and describe it as a "catalogue of historical threats".