Latest stories of our network
An exhibition in Rotterdam explores the design of viruses - until November
Computer viruses are threats – everybody would agree. But at the same time they can be artful pieces of code. Objects of design. Unique creations. You can find security researchers talking about the beauty of code – and you can now also see this in an exhibition in Rotterdam.
"This idea of an exhibition on viruses came because it is a long term interest of the New Institute to look at forms of design that are not necessarily based on authors or objects but that are more invisible to us", says Marina Otero Verzier, the Director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut (The New Institute) Rotterdam. And so they started looking at computer programs with massive impact, but little knowledge about the authors: the clandestine, malicious software used by script kiddies and state sponsored hackers.
The exhibition spans widely, looking at classics from the early years, when kids created viruses to prove it was possible, but without intending to create a lot of harm. Otero Verzier's favorite malware is from that time. The Skynet/Terminator-virus in a charming way told you to relax and take some time off. It was also the time, when the creator of a malware like the "Anna Kournikova" virus could still be hired by his local administration as an IT specialist because of the work he did with that malware.
The exhibition goes into modern days, looking at highly sophisticated programs like the WannaCry malware which shut down businesses around the world in 2017.
You can find these examples in the exhibition:
- Brain, 1986
- AIDS, 1990
- CRASH, 1990
- Coffeeshop, 1992
- HHnHH, 1992
- Skynet, 1994
- LSD, 1994
- Mars Land, 1997
- Happy99, 1999
- Melissa, 1999
- ILOVEYOU, 2000
- Anna Kournikova, 2001
- CodeRed, 2001
- Stuxnet, 2009
- Kenzero, 2010
- Regin, 2011
- Flame, 2012
- Shamoon, 2012
- CryptoLocker, 2013
- PolloCrypt, 2015
- WannaCry, 2017
- NotPetya, 2017
All these malicious programs were visualized in artistic installations and are being explained to the visitors. The exhibition is still open until 10th of November and you can find out more here: https://malware.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en
Learn more about any kind of malware at www.securelist.com
To learn more about WannaCry and the fragile border between hacking and cybersecurity research, follow us for our upcoming mini series: hacker:HUNTER, WannaCry: The Marcus Hutchins Story.
Ultra-fast gaming and the sports of tomorrow, with Break the Record's Fredrik Lidholt
Completing a game more quickly than opponents is the goal of the esport of speedrunning. It could be Super Mario, Doom or any other game. This week we'll see which elite players can break the speed record playing Minecraft.
Speed is the name of the game
The Break the Record Live Series is a live-streamed event where elite gamers compete to be the fastest ever player. Next week, they'll try to break the Minecraft speed-playing record. The brains behind Break the Record, Fredrik Lidholt (aka Edenal) chats about the future of esports with Marco Preuss and Rainer Bock in the latest episode of Unlocked.
Find out more about next week's Minecraft event here!
Intro to cryptoart and non-fungible tokens (NFTS)
A non-fungible token (NFT) of digital kitten art sold for 170,000 US dollars. These tokens could change how we buy, sell and own digital media. What are they, and could they build a new creative economy? To start, check out the video above from CNBC!
Is this the art of true ownership in the digital age?
Most of us can make a GIF, take a picture or record a clip, but what if you could sell those and other digital media for hundreds of thousands of dollars? With the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), pictures, short clips of comedians, GIFs and every other form of digital art is now being tokenized and sold just like a physical painting.
What is an NFT?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a digital certificate of ownership of a piece of digital information that can be bought and sold. It works the same way as cryptocurrency: Secure transactions made between two parties recorded permanently through blockchain. The difference is, with bitcoin – a popular cryptocurrency using blockchain – you can trade one coin for the other and it has the same value, but NFTs are one-of-a-kind. Each NFT is unique and can have a different value.
You can make NFTs of almost anything digital, but the big news is they're starting to be used to buy and sell digital art, known as cryptoart.
Why NFTs can benefit digital artists and art buyers
Uniqueness has always been central to the art market. Digital art is hard to sell, and for buyers, hard to 'own' because of the potential for an infinite number of copies. NFTs could solve that problem.
For creators, NFTs are super trendy and therefore add to your enigmatic status, and they have a handy sell-on feature. If you sell a GIF using NFTs, you get a percentage every time the NFT is sold to a new buyer. Imagine Van Gogh selling a painting, then getting a slice of every resale, forever.
And if you're a buyer, you have a concrete claim of owning a piece of digital art. And speaking of buying, you might want to see this.
A world gone mad for NFTs
The best way to understand the NFT market explosion is to see some pieces that have fetched crazy sums. Brace yourself.
This Nyan Cat GIF sold for almost $600,000 US dollars.
Grimes - The NFT goldrush continues
This 50-second video by Grimes sold for almost $390,000.
Watch the video here.
Beeple - Authenticated by blockchain
This video by Beeple sold for $6.6 million.
Watch the video here.
Crypto financial and environmental impacts
Many financial experts have warned that this could be an investment bubble that, if it bursts, could mean big losses.And while NFTs are making the digital art world fairer, they come with a warning. The sale of a crypto art piece can use the same amount of energy in one transaction as an art studio uses in two years.
How artists can benefit
If you're an aspiring or established artist or content creator, no promises, but this could be big for you. First, prepare your work ready, whether it's a GIF, picture or video. Then, when you're happy with it, start on NIfty Gateway. On Nifty Gateway, you can apply to create a project for them to sell.