YOU CAN TELL the world is going to hell in a handbasket when a malware-riddled laptop sells for $1.3m.
That's right, while nurses find themselves forced to turn to food banks, someone has spunked more cash that most people will see in a lifetime on an infected 11-year-old Samsung netbook that's been masquerading as art.
Sold in an auction, the winning bidder was anonymous, which is understandable as we wouldn't want people to know we were wandering around with a laptop stuffed with some of the most dangerous and destructive malware around.
Give the laptop was sold as art under the title of Persistence of Chaos, we would like to think it would end up in someone's very nerdy collection of old computers and digital curiosities. But out cynicism gland has been pumping and there's a chance that the laptop could be used to stitch the malware strains together to create some form of super malware designed to bork pretty much everything.
Then again, we've seen too many movies, so such a situation is probably the machinations of our damaged minds and too much coffee.
And the buyer will need to acquiesce to the terms of the purchase which state the infected laptop can only be used as a work of art or to inform academic pursuits, and that the buyer must not have any intention of disseminating the malware.
But lying is reasonably easy, so there's a good chance the anonymous buyer could go to town on the malware once the laptop finds its way into their hands.
We suppose time will tell, but if some weird mix of WannaCry, MyDoom and BlackEnergy crops up, we know where we'd point our suspicions. µ
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