Would you pay RM5mil for a malware-ridden laptop?

A malware ridden laptop is being auctioned in the name of art, and it could be yours if you can top the current bid of over US$1.2mil (RM5.04mil).

The laptop deliberately infected with six major malwares is an art collaboration between contemporary Internet artist Guo O Dong and cybersecurity company Deep Instinct, which provided the malware as well as the technical expertise for Guo to execute the work in a safe environment.

Titled The Persistence Of Chaos, the notebook in question is an 11-year-old Samsung NC10-14GB 10.2in Blue Netbook pre-installed with Windows XP SP3. The laptop is intentionally air-gapped to prevent the spread of the malware, and the artist insists that the item be used for artistic or academic study.

Under the terms and conditions, it states that the work must not be powered on, and if it is, the new owner must not connect it to the Internet, as well as not allow any third party to access any software or malware on the exhibit.

Watch live video from PersistenceChaos on www.twitch.tv

The six malwares on the laptop as described on the website are:

ILoveYou – A virus distributed in 2000 via email and file sharing, which reportedly affected over 50 million systems causing US$15bil (RM62.9bil) damages in total.

MyDoom – Potentially commissioned by Russian email spammers, the 2004 virus was one of the fastest spreading malware causing over US$38bil (RM159bil) in damages.

SoBig – Circulated via emails, the malware reportedly could copy files and email itself to others, as well as damage computer software and hardware. Affecting hundreds of thousands of PCs, the malware caused a US$37bil (RM155bil) damages.

WannaCry – The attack affected over 200,000 computers in 2017, setting up backdoors on systems across 150 countries. Causing over US$4bil (RM16.7bil) in damages, WannaCry is one of the more recent malwares.

DarkTequila – Targeting users mainly in Latin America, the malware stole bank credentials and corporate data even while offline. It’s a sophisticated and evasive malware that cost millions in damages to victims.

BlackEnergy – A highly sophisticated virus, BlackEnergy was used to attack Ukraine’s power grid, resulting in a large-scale blackout in the country in December 2015.

Interested buyers can check out the livestream feed of the laptop as well as more information at the website.

The bid ends in four days. The packing and shipping costs are covered by the bid, while additional taxes and fees may apply. It is not stated what Guo plans to do with the proceeds from the auction.


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