The Persistence of Chaos: A Laptop Filled With Malware Sold For $1.345 Million

By Amit Chowdhry ● May 29, 2019
  • A 2008 Samsung NC10-14GB 10.2-inch netbook running Windows XP known as “The Persistence of Chaos” with six viruses was sold for $1.345 million
  • This art piece was commissioned by cybersecurity company Deep Instinct
  • Guo O Dong — the artist behind this piece — said that it was created as a way to give a physical form to the abstract threats in the digital world

Bidding on a laptop that contains some of the world’s most dangerous malware has closed at $1.345 million, according to Engadget. Known as “The Persistence of Chaos,” the 2008 Samsung NC10-14GB 10.2-inch netbook running Windows XP contains six viruses that have caused an estimated $95 billion in damages. Why would someone buy this laptop? Art.

To prevent “The Persistence of Chaos” from causing damage, it is isolated and air-gapped. This art piece was commissioned by cybersecurity company Deep Instinct. And Guo O Dong — the artist behind “The Persistence of Chaos” — told The Verge that this art piece was created as a way to give abstract threats posed by the digital world a physical form.

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What viruses are included in “The Persistence of Chaos?”

ILOVEYOU — This virus was distributed via email and file sharing. And it affected over 500,000 systems and caused $15 billion in damages total with $5.5 billion in damages happening in the first week.

MyDoom — The MyDoom virus is believed to have been commissioned by Russian e-mail spammers. It is believed to be one of the fastest spreading worms and is estimated to have caused $38 billion in damages.

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SoBig — SoBig was a Trojan and a worm that circulated as viral spam in email. This malware is able to copy files, email itself to others, and damage software/hardware. It is estimated that SoBig caused $37 billion in damages as it affected hundreds of thousands of PCS.

WannaCry — WannaCry is a ransomware cryptoworm that also worked as a backdoor on systems. And the attack affected 200,000 computers across 150 countries. It caused the NHS $100 million in damages with further totals at nearly $4 billion

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Dark Tequila — Dark Tequila is a piece of malware that targeted users mostly in Latin America. It stole bank credentials and corporate data even while offline thus causing millions in damages.

BlackEnergy — BlackEnergy 2 uses a sophisticated rootkit/process-injection technique, robust encryption, and a “dropper” that was used in a cyberattack that caused a large-scale blackout in Ukraine in December 2015.