ESR has recently written a piece of science-fiction called “The Final Virus“, in which he imagines a world where some virus writer finally decides that they are going to write one which does some real damage, and wipes out most of the world’s Windows machines.
I think that, sadly, there’s a strong chance of that happening eventually – but before that time, we’ll see the “Penultimate Virus” – one which attacks a specific section of the Internet community. (I’ve blogged about this before.)
The most effectively discerning attack would probably be one which checks the Windows UI language, and wipes the hard disk at a specified time if it finds a particular one. Virtual ethnic cleansing. Scary. Imagine the economic damage to a country if the virus is stealthy enough to not get detected before zero hour.
Purely by looking at the number of people who have a grievance against Israel, and the uniqueness of their language group, if I were a betting man, I’d bet on Hebrew being the target. Either that, or US English – which would probably catch a lot of UK computers as well.