Cyber Wars: Malware, Mahdi, and Hail Mary in Iran and Israel………..


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“Who knew that when the Messiah arrived to herald the Day of Judgment he’d first root through computers to steal documents and record conversations? That’s what Mahdi, a new piece of spyware found targeting more than 800 victims in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East, has been doing since last December, according to Russia-based Kaspersky Lab and Seculert, an Israeli security firm that discovered the malware. Mahdi, which is named after files used in the malware, refers to the Muslim messiah who, it’s prophesied, will arrive before the end of time to cleanse the world of wrongdoing and bestow peace and justice before Judgment Day. But this recently discovered Mahdi is only interested in one kind of cleansing – vaccuuming up PDFs, Excel files and Word documents from victim machines. The malware, which is not sophisticated, according to Costin Raiu, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, can be updated remotely from command-and-control servers to add various modules designed to steal documents, monitor keystrokes, take screenshots of e-mail communications and record audio………..”

A Mahdi malware. If it is aimed specifically at Iran, which is very likely, the Iranians will retaliate and create their own malware for the enjoyment of whoever sent them the Mahdi (and Stuxnet and Duqu and Flame and other cyber invaders). The Iranians may choose to call their malware the Seder or the Passover if they think it were Israelis behind the Mahdi attack, or they may choose Hail Mary if they think it were Americans. Yet the Iranians will not, mainly because of their religion which precludes mocking other religions (especially mocking Mary or Jesus or Moses or Passover is a no no among Muslims).

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