[artinfo] Vampire Digital Art

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon May 5 15:12:08 CEST 2014

Vampire Digital Art

New article on Furtherfield by Rob Myers.

Building on science fiction author Charles Stross's vision of a 
future of weaponized eBooks, Rob Myers considers how artists can use 
the strategies of malware to make art that really grabs the attention 
of the public and the market, and how much it will cost to make.

In "How Readers Will Discover Books In Future", science fiction 
author Charles Stross envisions a future in which weaponized eBooks 
demand your attention by copying themselves onto your mobile devices, 
wiping out the competition, and locking up the user interface until 
you've read them.

This is only just science fiction. Even the earliest viruses often 
displayed messages and malware that denies access to your data until 
you pay to decrypt it already exist. ePub ebooks can execute 
arbitrary JavaScript, and PDF documents can execute arbitrary shell 
scripts. Compromised PDFs have been found in the wild. Stross's 
weaponized ebooks are not more than one step ahead of this.


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