A laptop computer containing some of the most dangerous viruses and malware in the world has been put up for auction.
Inside the computer are six strains of malware that have caused a combined $95bn [76bn] worth of damage over the years, and it has been ‘air-gapped’ (incapable of being connected to physically or wirelessly) to prevent the spread of the software inside.
The seller of the laptop, Guo O Dong, a contemporary internet artist, created the piece, known as ‘The Persistence of Chaos,’ in association with the internet security company Deep Instinct, which provided the malware. The laptop is being auctioned on the artist’s auction site, ‘thepersistenceofchaos.com.’
Currently, the highest bid stands at $1.2m.
The terms of sale state: “The sale of malware for operational purposes is illegal in the United States. As a buyer you recognise that this work represents a potential security hazard. By submitting a bid you agree and acknowledge that you’re purchasing this work as a piece of art or for academic reasons, and have no intention of disseminating any malware. Upon the conclusion of this auction and before the artwork is shipped, the computer’s internet capabilities and available ports will be functionally disabled.”
Among the malware housed by the computer is the ‘WannaCry’ virus that affected over 200,000 systems in over 150 countries last year, including NHS software, causing $100m worth of damage.
The auction ends on Monday the 27th of May.