It sounds like a high-tech thriller with DaVinci Code undertones: A file name inside a lethal computer worm might reference the Biblical Queen Esther — and could finger Israel as the source.
A report in today’s New York Times says a file inside the Stuxnet worm’s computer code was named “Myrtus,” possibly a “cross-linguistic wordplay” on Esther’s original Hebrew name of Hadassah. It’s one of what the New York Times calls “several murky clues that have emerged as computer experts try to trace the origin and purpose of the rogue Stuxnet program, which seeks out a specific kind of command module for industrial equipment.” Its exact target: Iran, where 30,000 computers have been infected, according to the Guardian. The worm “appears to have used contaminated hardware in an attempt to cripple Iran’s nuclear program,” the Guardian said, and “was a sophisticated attack almost certainly orchestrated by a state. It also appears that intelligence operatives were used to deliver the worm to its goal.”