Art and cybersecurity collide at the Museum of Malware Art


Imagine if looming cyber threats, things we usually see as abstract and distant could be transformed into something tangible, interactive, and even artistic. That's exactly what the Museum of Malware Art is trying to achieve when it opens its doors in Helsinki, Finland, in November 2024.

By blending the worlds of malware and art, this innovative museum promises to turn digital dangers into captivating experiences that are as thought-provoking as they are eye-opening.

Curated by industry veteran Mikko Hyppönen and a team of experts, the installation aims to bridge complex technical concepts with public awareness through a one-of-a-kind fusion of art and technology that arouses the audience’s sense of curiosity and intrigue.

The Museum of Malware Art: a new way to understand cybersecurity

Although cybersecurity is a pervasive challenge touching every individual, business, and society, the technical nature of cyber threats makes them intimidating.

However, the Museum of Malware Art, set up by WithSecure, formerly F-Secure Business, hopes to demystify cybersecurity through the medium of art and dispel some perceptions that it can be invisible.

At launch, the first installation will be Threatscape, an interactive experience leveraging cutting-edge AI technology.

This artwork will be projected onto the walls of real threat data provided by WithSecure Intelligence. Visitors can then interact with visualized cyber threats, 'catch' malware, and understand how these digital threats work.

Threatscape

Early indicators suggest that this technology platform, combined with design ingenuity, will deliver an immersive experience and enlightenment about cybersecurity.

One of the more provocative exhibits at the museum is the sculpture of the ILOVEYOU virus, which becomes a collaborative piece of art that asks for audience participation. WithSecure calls for donations of old computer mice to construct this symbolic monument to one of history's most notorious cyber threats.

In this way, the obsolete hardware is turned into an impressive artistic statement, and by linking technology from both the past and present—such concerns underline human dimensions.

An ‘ILOVEYOU’ sculpture represents much more than just symbolic meaning; it is an object telling us how helpless we all become in the wake of a digitized age.

Every mouse donated points out that it can become an entry point for malware and how everyday devices could inadvertently be vectors in cyber-attacks.

By involving the public in its making, WithSecure sends the message of shared responsibility within cybersecurity at the community level.

Together with United Imaginations, a creative agency, WithSecure has called for international artists to collaborate in developing the first exhibits for the Museum of Malware Art.

This museum is a fusion of cyber security and innovation. Combining different artistic views and creative insights brings the vague world of cybersecurity closer to people globally.

However, the Museum of Malware Art is not just a collection of exhibits; it will represent a critical educational platform regarding the growing relevance of cybersecurity in today's digital world.

By raising awareness about what cyber threats can do in reality, capturing a history of critical digital events, inspiring future security professionals, and providing an impetus for cross-disciplinary dialogue between technology, art, and social issues, the Museum of Malware Art could play a pivotal role in demystifying cybersecurity and fostering a more informed and resilient digital society.

Located in WithSecure's Helsinki headquarters, the museum heralds cybersecurity's increasing relevance in the business world.

The Museum of Malware Art also aims to offer an engaging space for reflection and action, inviting all visitors to actively discuss our digital future and urging critical questions on striking a balance between technological advancement and security.

This innovative project aims to bring home the cybersecurity challenge in easily digestible bites of information to inspire collaborative actions against cybercrime, with a collective responsibility to create a much more secure cyberspace.

I’m hopeful that educating the public through easy-to-understand and interactive experiences will finally dispel the myth that humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity.

From malware to a masterpiece

By trapping malware in art, WithSecure is on a mission to boldly demystify cybersecurity by turning something abstract into shared responsibility.

This creative approach shows the path toward a more secure digital world: making all complex technical issues understandable and inclusive.

As it prepares to open to the public, it’s hoped that this museum's unique blend of technology, art, and public engagement will help people look at cybersecurity from a fresh perspective. Rather than a dry and technical discipline, it camouflages a dynamic and essential part of modern life.

With our digital terrain becoming increasingly complex, projects like this museum are crucial to sowing understanding and awareness for its safe and confident negotiation.

The Museum of Malware Art is a timely reminder that cybersecurity is not something to work on alone.

By engaging every one of us with provocative exhibits and participation projects, such as the ILOVEYOU virus sculpture, we can stop to think about our roles in this ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape and stimulate conversations about a more secure and informed digital future.

With an old mouse en route to Helsinki, I'll likely see you there in November to discuss how art meets malware in a surprisingly thought-provoking and delightful way.