Ron Rosenbaum

The First E-mail of the Apocalypse? What Will You Say?

Have you been following the hacker-caused furor over the latest manifestation of the “Stormworm” virus? It seems that they’ve devised an ingenious temptation to click on their virus-infected video link. They send out mass emails with subject lines that seem to be news stories about the beginning of the Third World War, purportedly a U.S. invasion of Iran that has already involved nuclear detonations. If you open it, inside they invite you to click on the infected video link to see the mushroom clouds.

A list of “stormworm” World War III subject lines has been circulating among cyber security websites. It includes the following:

Here are some of the subject headings:

Iran USA conflict developed into war
More than 10000 Iranians were murdered
Negotiations between USA and Iran ended in War
Occupation of Iran
Plans for Iran attack began
The Iran’s Leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Jihad to USA
The World War III has already begun
The begining of The World War III
The military operation in Iran has begun
The secret war against Iran
Third War in Iran
Third World War has begun
US Army crossed Iran’s borders
US Army invaded Iran
US army is about 20 kilometers from Tegeran
US soldiers occupied Iran
USA attacked Iran
USA declares war on Iran
USA occupeid Iran
USA unleashed war on Iran
War between USA&Iran
War with Iran is the reality now
Washington prefers to shoot first

The following is a selection of the body text:

20000 US soldiers in Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
Iran USA conflict developed into war http://xxxxxxxx.com/
More than 10000 Iranians were murdered http://xxxxxxxx.com/
Negotiations between USA and Iran ended in War http://xxxxxxxx.com/
Occupation of Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
Plans for Iran attack began http://xxxxxxxx.com/
The World War III has already begun http://xxxxxxxx.com/
The begining of The World War III http://xxxxxxxx.com/
The military operation in Iran has begun http://xxxxxxxx.com/
The secret war against Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
Third War in Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
Third World War has begun http://xxxxxxxx.com/
US Army crossed Iran’s borders http://xxxxxxxx.com/
US Army invaded Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
US army is about 20 kilometers from Tegeran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
US soldiers occupied Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
USA attacked Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
USA declares war on Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
USA occupeid Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
USA unleashed war on Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
War between USA&Iran http://xxxxxxxx.com/
War with Iran is the reality now http://xxxxxxxx.com/
Washington prefers to shoot first http://xxxxxxxx.com/

it’s almost an incantation of tribal fears. Almost like the EKG of that subdomain of the collective Unconscious where we collectively repress our nuclear war fears.

So here’s my question: what would be your first e mail of the apocalypse.How would you imagine the start? What would you say to a friend or lover, if you’d just heard a bulletin that nuclear detonations had begun? What would you put in the subject line? And/or what would you put in the body of the text, if it looked like the long goodbye was upon us?