This ordinary laptop is being considered an immaculate piece of art but to own it you are in dangerous territory. Created by internet artist Guo O Dong, this laptop is filled with six of the world’s most dangerous pieces of malware. As long as you don’t plug in a USB or connect to your Wi-Fi then you are safe. The artist said the purpose of this project was to make physical the abstract threats posed by the digital world.
There’s a thought that things that happen in computers can’t actually affect humans but that’s not so true. Weaponized viruses that change power grids or public infrastructure can cause direct harm. The six viruses were choses based on the size of economic damage they have caused. The viruses included WannaCry, a ransomware attack that shut down computers in hospitals and factories around the world in 2017 and ILOVEYOU virus which was a bug from 2000 that appeared as a “love letter” attached to emails.
WannaCry was capable of cancelling thousands of doctor’s appointments and over $100 million in damages. This proves that digital attacks can have physical consequences. Just this past month, a ransomware attack struck the city of Baltimore where is froze government systems and disrupted water bills, health alerts, and home sales. In total, Guo estimates that the six viruses on his Samsung laptop have caused a whopping $95 billion in economic damage.
The laptop is currently being auctioned off online and is currently sitting around $1.2 million. Yu can even watch a live stream of the laptop to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere. This may seem like a ton of money to pay for an only laptop riddles with malware but look at it as fine art and we know how much art goes for these days. This will fall under a catalogue of historical threats.