Looking for a gift for that person who has everything? Well, how about a laptop infected with the malware that caused $95 billion dollars in damage worldwide? Yeah, thought so.
For so long, auctions have been dominated by history. Whether its JFK’s golf clubs, a Fabergé egg that Alexander III used as a paperweight, or the Porsche that killed James Dean, the established world of uber-rich auctions all ring with a familiar classy tone. However, that was yesterday. I mean, who in their right mind would pay $1,160,000 for a dead philanderer’s hitting sticks when you can buy a meaningful piece of history for the same amount?
If you’re adult/quick enough, you can purchase a 2008 Samsung laptop at auction. But it is not just any 2008 Samsung laptop, it happens to be a kind of a millennial Ark of the Covenant, as it holds six of the most infamous computer viruses in our connected history.
Sadly, the laptop is art (which will drive the price up), part of a project created by Chinese artist Guo O Dong. In an interview with VICE, Guo explained the reasoning behind his creation as “a kind of bestiary, a catalogue of historical threats.”
“Malware is one of the most tangible ways that the internet can jump out of your monitor and bite you,” Guo told VICE. “These pieces of software seem so abstract, almost fake with their funny, spooky names, but I think they emphasize that the web and IRL are not different spaces.”
The big six of malware present (ILOVEYOU, MyDoom, SoBig, WannaCry, DarkTequila, and BlackEnergy) are responsible for $95 billion dollars in damage upon our species. Yet, here they live, solely within the borders of obsolete technology. Never you mind though, as the nefarious viruses have been isolated and airgapped, with those who placed it there assuring us that the computer won’t be able to connect to the internet and kill again.
Think of it as the malware version of Hannibal Lecter. One we need to communicate with to learn how to defeat future threats, but one we cannot possibly risk letting out in the public.
Four days remain to place a bid, but tell me Clarice, have the windows stopped opening?