This Is Reporting? Fox News Ties Flame Malware To Angry Birds Because Both Use Lua

from the wow dept

We’re often told that the big media companies need to be saved because of all the important expensive reporting work they do. And then we see something absolutely ridiculous, such as Fox News linking the infamous Flame malware to Angry Birds… because both use the Lua computing language (found via Slashdot):


This is, of course, a complete pointless linkage, which seems to serve no purpose whatsoever, other than (perhaps) to attract the attention of those who are obsessed with Angry Birds (an admittedly large group of people). But just because two programs are written in the same language, it doesn’t mean… well, it doesn’t mean anything of importance whatsoever. Instead, it just seems like Fox News and its “Chief Intelligence Correspondent” Catherine Herridge needed to fill some space and came up with something entirely pointless. But, you know, we need those big professional news companies because of deep, hard-hitting stories like this one.

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Comments on “This Is Reporting? Fox News Ties Flame Malware To Angry Birds Because Both Use Lua”

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121 Comments
Mr Big Content says:

It's A Legitimate Point

If their writing legitimate software, why don’t they use a legitimate, accepted language, like Microsoft Visual Basic? The mere fact that there choosing to use something obscure like Lua shows that they must have something to hide!

This is why I love Fox News. They ask the tricky questions that nobody else dares to contemplate! You’re site could learn something from them, Mike!

Anonymous Coward says:

Catherine Herridge needed to fill some space and came up with something entirely pointless. But, you know, we need those big professional news companies because of deep, hard-hitting stories like this one.

LMAO @ Pirate Mike! Priceless. Mike, who does nothing but post pointless nonsense (including this very article) whining about others doing the same. Too funny. Nobody’s coming to TechTurd for “hard-hitting stories” either, Pirate Mike. You’re all surface and no depth. I love it–the guy who runs one of the most idiotic, whiny blogs on the ‘net is upset at other people’s fluff pieces. Awesome!

Paul Adams (user link) says:

Well, at least they didn't try to "sex it up", like during sweeps...

The mendacity of the news is appalling: “Angry Birds” made from same programming language as new “Flame” virus.

For most people, this is a non-story and thus it has to use “Angry Birds” to get anyone to pay attention at all. I’m kind of surprised that they didn’t use “World of Warcraft”, as their user modifications are written in the same language. Oh, my god…

Tomorrows News Today: “Flame” virus writers practiced writing virus code with “World of Warcraft”! (Film at 11.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

The irony of your comment about Mike and his whining is completely lost on you I bet.

To be clear, you are doing what you’re ridiculing Mike of. And you do it much more often than would be considered acceptable and much more often than Mike. But in your eyes pointing out problems with laws and overreaching and whatnot is considered whining. Which is hilarious considering it would be just whining, if Mike also didn’t point out how they can do better and offer suggestions on exactly that.

Whiny Troll is whiny. That’s your new nickname, Whiny Troll. You are no longer just a troll. Guys let’s all start calling him this and flagging his ad hom comments (since that’s all they ever are).

Anonymous Coward says:

No offense Mike, but who cares. I dunno why so many comments agree with you here either. It seems like you are making ‘news’ out of non-news here.

Your link doesn’t link to the entire article so I’m not exactly sure if the article does say anything suspect but from the picture the article only seems to say that the language that was used to write this ‘cyberweapon’ was the same language used to write Angry Birds. OK, so the title maybe a bit confusing, even misleading, but anyone who reads the article will quickly find it’s just a title to grab attention. It’s not like Techdirt (and every blog and newspaper) has never made somewhat catchy titles that are somewhat confusing and hyperbole and most don’t fault much you for it (well, except the trolls, though I admit that I have looked at some of the Techdirt titles with confusion after reading the article and I may have complained about it before but it’s really no big deal). It seems like the confusion is cleared upon reading the article.

silverscarcat says:

Re:

Only those that claim to be news.

It’s funny, because the ones that DON’T claim to be news is where you find the real news.

Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Bill Maher

All three are comedians first and reporters second.

Sad thing is, they’re far more reliable than traditional media.

Mostly because they call out both sides for their stupidity.

I remember when Stewart was yelling at Democrats for being p**sies and the Republicans for being ***holes.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re:

The headline is completely false. Was someone who was involved with the creation of Angry Birds also responsible in some fashion for the creation of Flame? No.
The headline falsely proclaims a connection where NONE exists. As in my comment up above, Fox News might as well have a headline showing the connection between Mein Kamp and Erich Kaestner because both are written in German. It’s a meaningless headline that is entirely unrelated to the article.

As for Mike making a non-story, I have to disagree with you there. If no-one ever bothered to tell me that Fox News is actually Faux News, I wouldn’t know about it. So kudos to Mike for letting us know. Keep on reporting that Fox News is full of crap! Let us hold on to hope that someday Fox News will actually live up to its catchprase of “Fair and Balanced”.

wbronco (profile) says:

grow up

You’re OVER-reacting. The connection to Angry Birds was only made to give the average ‘grown-up’something to relate to, such as “Angry Birds written in some language”. For them computer conversation past ‘Microsoft’ or ‘Dell’ or lost. Remember, most didn’t grow up with computers.

FYI; if you’re using Colbert, Maher, or Stewart for your news YOU’RE a comedian and with the exception of Stewart neither you or them is even funny. You’ll understand this better when dragged into the “Deathly Hollow” called ‘maturity’, kicking and screaming no doubt..

Colin (user link) says:

Re: grow up

You’re OVER-reacting. The connection to Angry Birds was only made to give the average ‘grown-up’something to relate to, such as “Angry Birds written in some language”.

Why not give something RELEVANT to relate to? They might as well just say “Flame was created by a person, and so was Angry Birds!” What they’ve done is less informative and more irresponsible journalism than if they’d given no comparison at all.

silverscarcat says:

grow up

“FYI; if you’re using Colbert, Maher, or Stewart for your news YOU’RE a comedian and with the exception of Stewart neither you or them is even funny. You’ll understand this better when dragged into the “Deathly Hollow” called ‘maturity’, kicking and screaming no doubt..”

I really can’t someone like you seriously. The kind of ‘maturity’ that you’re emphasizing is nothing more than a hallowed out, empty shell of an existence that leads one to drinking nothing but beer and eating greasy foods, getting fatter and fatter, forcing the obesity problem to get worse and more and more stupid laws to get passed simply because your life isn’t worth living.

Well, here’s a little news flash for you, sad sack…

Maturity is what you make of it. Whenever a parent says “act your age” to their child, they really mean “act twice as old as you really are”.

A truly mature person is someone who takes responsibility for their actions.

That’s all it really is. That and being able to read a situation and act accordingly, but that’s rather minor compared to being able to take responsibility for your actions.

Anonymous Coward says:

The most sophisticated and powerful cyberweapon uncovered to date was written in the LUA computer language, cyber security experts tell Fox News — the same one used to make the incredibly popular Angry Birds game.

LUA is favored by game programmers because it?s easy to use and easy to embed. Flame is described as enormously powerful and large, containing some 250,000 lines of code, making it far larger than other such cyberweapons. Yet it was built with gamer code, said Cedric Leighton, a retired Air Force Intelligence officer who now consults in the national security arena.

?The people who developed the malware ? found an ingenious way to use a code not part and parcel of a hacker?s normal arsenal, and that made it harder to detect,? he told Fox News.

“Easy to use and easy to embed”, this looks like straight up journalistic writing, with a point of reference that the novice would understand.

So why the Anti Fox News baiting Mike?

Oh that’s right Rupert Murdock is the master of the evil empire.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re:

Everyone is a few days behind on this, but I too went off on a rant about this. Mine wasn’t nearly as nice.

This whole Fox News story just chilled me all the way to my IT bones. How in the hell can they even get away with reporting like that?

As a network administrator and programmer that has been in the industry for over 15 years, I can say that allowing a news station to get away with making such an outlandish comparison just for ratings is dirty journalism at best.

They are blatantly trying to misdirect any education about the IT world to people that need to understand it the most.

I can’t wait till this technology ignorant generation dies off.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re:

Oh that’s right Rupert Murdock is the master of the evil empire.

Being an Australian I actually agree with this statement, in reference to his business practices, lack of ethics and narcissistic personality. Interestingly so do nearly all other Australians who actually have worked for, known, or encountered Rupert and his family when he was an Aussie citizen..

Fox News is just a small part of an extremely vast egotistic empire that happily is finally beginning to crumble and self implode.

SageMage says:

Re: Re:

Acid-base reactions are ubiquitous. In aqueous solutions acids increase the hydrogen ion (H+) concentration. On the other hand bases increase the hydroxide ion (OH-) concentration. When an acid and a base react in an aqueous solution the H+ and OH- ions combine to form water. These ions thus “neutralize” one another

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re:

If you really think this looks like straight-up journalism, then I don’t even know what to say. This is straight-up propaganda (of the “be afraid!” variety, and is almost entirely composed of factoids that are stitched together to make an unrelated and greatly exaggerated point.

Mentioning Angry Birds is completely baffling to me. Pointing out the two things were written in the same language is relevant to exactly nothing, and clarifies nothing. For people who don’t know anything about programming, it’s even worse in that it encourages people to think the there is some kind of meaningful link between the two.

LUA is favored by game programmers because it?s easy to use and easy to embed.

So? Lua is one of a number of languages that are preferred by game programmers because it’s easy to use and embed.

Flame is described as enormously powerful and large, containing some 250,000 lines of code, making it far larger than other such cyberweapons.

I have no idea why the article spends any time on how large Flame is, and even measure it according to number of lines of code, which is a meaningless measurement when taken alone. Why is “far larger” relevant? In fact, being far large implies that it might not be terribly sophisticated, as keeping the code small helps to keep it stealthy.

Yet it was built with gamer code, said Cedric Leighton, a retired Air Force Intelligence officer who now consults in the national security arena.

“Gamer code”?? Really?? What does that even mean? It’s meaningless bullshit. Ah, but here we see a clue to the real purpose of the article: this quote comes from a “national security consultant” which means that the more frightened people are, the more money he makes. This article is an advertisement, not news.

?The people who developed the malware ? found an ingenious way to use a code not part and parcel of a hacker?s normal arsenal, and that made it harder to detect,?

This is more meaningless bullshit, and that it was written in Lua does not impact its difficulty to detect.

This is not journalism at all, even in the most generous meaning of the term. This is a press release from a for-profit security firm that markets to the government and major corporations.

Mesonoxian Eve (profile) says:

Re:

LOL. I guess I shouldn’t have used the word “explode”.

When writing this, I was remembering the “Kitchen Chemistry 101” lesson given to us students decades ago about mixing chlorine with ammonia.

I guess brain cells don’t explode in that context, but they sure do end up dead.

Thanks for the reminder. Perhaps this is why I didn’t pass Chem the first time around (or the second, and barely the third).

Ugh. I’m reminding myself why I hate Chemistry.

hmm (profile) says:

OMG

ALL genocides/murders/bad stuff tied to the alphabet!

Sources say apparently most documents related to criminal activity produced during the past thousand or so years have relied on the letters a through z.

Sources say this link proves that the entire alphabet along with written and spoken language must be banned to stop piracy/terrorists/for the children……

Digitari says:

Re:

I have it on good information that some Terrorists are right handed, the same hand the Fox uses for mental masturbation, and yet some in the mid east use there left hand to wipe their bottoms. Some folks at Fox are left handed as well, just not as many that use the left hand to wipe with in the mid east…..

ergo:

Right handed fox pundits = mental mastubator’s

left handed fox pundits = bottom wipers

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:

Catherine Herridge is just trying to make a living

By being naive and hoping her editors and readers are the same her wish was granted and her ill-informed article was published. She will continue to make false linkages that would give her a failing grade in any essay/paper that was properly graded in any proper university or college.

Give her a break, she is just too uneducated to understand that all Windows/PC viruses, trojans, and other malware is all executed on the Intel x86 instruction set. Obviously, Intel is the sponsor and enabler of all the world’s ill.

If she was really up to her task of a true muckraker, she would be camping out at Santa Clara, demanding to speak to Paul Otellini to get to the bottom of this fiendish scheme.

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