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Fox News Ties 'Flame' Malware To Angry Birds 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the there's-bad-men-in-our-internets dept.
eldavojohn writes "The title of this hard-hitting piece of journalism reads 'Powerful 'Flame' cyberweapon tied to popular Angry Birds game,' and opens with, '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.' The rest of the details that are actually pertinent to the story follow that important message. The graphic for this story? Perhaps a map of Iran, or the LUA logo, or maybe the stereotyped evil hacker in a ski mask? Nope, all Angry Birds. Describing LUA as 'Gamer Code,' Fox for some reason (popularity?) selects Angry Birds from an insanely long list in their article implying guilt-by-shared-development-language. I'm not sure if explaining machine language to them would alleviate the perceived problem or cause them to burn their desktops in the streets and launch a new crusade to protect the children."
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Fox News Ties 'Flame' Malware To Angry Birds

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  • Next up... (Score:5, Funny)

    by jakimfett (2629943) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:43PM (#40186841) Homepage Journal
    It would make a crazy sort of sense, yes? If Angry Birds was actually malware...
    • But... WARCRAFT ADDONS are in LUA also!

      Clearly, the attackers are trying to sneak in things like Recount and Gearscore to see how they compare, FFS!

    • *Has creepy Hyperion tetraology vibes*

      Both are the larval forms of the Ultimate Malware. Flame is it for machines, Angry Birds for humans/organics. Now, now we just need to watch for reverse-time-traveling pyramids and an obsidian colored homocidal robot called The Shrike. Wait, aren't Shrikes a type of bird?! God damn it, we are so doomed. Clearly Flame and Angry Birds eventually has a love child who travels back in time to kill off the whole universe one person at a time from the beginning.

    • It would make a crazy sort of sense, yes? If Angry Birds was actually malware...

      Or if Fox News wanted to pick a popular application that a significant portion of the human race has heard of. Nope, it must be because Fox News is STOOOPID.

      • Re:Next up... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pushing-robot (1037830) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @02:16AM (#40191839)

        Oh, sure, if they just wanted to drop the name somewhere in the article as an example of how many popular games and applications use LUA, that would be one thing.

        But this is not that thing.

        The very title of the Fox article is the ever-so-fair-and-balanced:

        Powerful ‘Flame’ cyberweapon tied to popular Angry Birds game

        ...So I'm going to have to go with "Fox News is Stupid" on this one.

        • Re:Next up... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by flyingsquid (813711) on Saturday June 02, 2012 @05:41AM (#40192681)
          Here's the start of the actual article:

          "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.

          It goes on like that. I hate to say anything nice about Fox News, but this is actually a well-written and informative piece of journalism. The problem is the title of the article, which is idiotic and sensationalistic. Given that the article itself is a decent piece of work and the title seems like it was written by someone who likes to stick crayons up their nose, my guess is that the writer did a careful job on the piece and their editor wanted a title that would get people's attention, and changed the title. Of course, given that we're all discussing the article now, a cynic could argue that this was the right call...

          • by Creepy (93888)

            By well written do you mean their spelling and punctuation are correct? Everything else seems sensationalistic. Lua is used in tools such as Wireshark and Snort as well - these are packet sniffer and counter-intrusion tools - do these tools have any ties to games? Not at all. Making the tie to gaming is like saying any written Visual Basic script is part of Microsoft Windows, even though the scripts have nothing to do with the operating system itself.

  • Red birds (Score:5, Funny)

    by MooseTick (895855) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:44PM (#40186879) Homepage

    Now we know why those birds are red.They are obviously commies.

  • SO related (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tsu-na-mi (88576) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:44PM (#40186889) Homepage

    So.. Flame is about as related to Angry Birds as Fox News is related to facts then?

    • by Hatta (162192) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:55PM (#40187071) Journal

      Fox News is written in the same language as the Unabomber Manifesto. Coincidence?

      • by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Friday June 01, 2012 @06:02PM (#40187237) Homepage Journal

        Maybe not - the language WAS invented by psychotic warrior tribes (the Angles and Saxons) and then added to by other psychotic warrior tribes (the Norse, the Danes and the Normans).

        Huh. Just thought. Maybe the Normans were psychotic out of confusion - none of them were actually CALLED Norman, they all had French names.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Quoting somebody else(below)
        >>>Its not like this article is any more inaccurate than any other report they make. It's entertainment, not news...

        This is pretty true of ALL the Cable "news" channels. I have a link where an MSNBC reporter brags that he has no idea what "Bilderberg group" is and has no intention of finding out. In other words, he's proudly admitting he likes to be ignorant. Not much of a reporter.

        And no I am not saying "It's okay that FOX distorts." I'm saying that the other channels

    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Friday June 01, 2012 @06:06PM (#40187337)

      I link the Assembly language idea. Scaring all Fox news listeners away from any computer use would help solve a lot of problems.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Next, tell them about the processors in their TV and the entire problem is gone.

    • Its not like this article is any more inaccurate than any other report they make.

      It's entertainment, not news... which was their own admission, and was agreed upon by the supreme court, re:monsanto posilac.

      Only idiots think its news.

      • it is does in fact contract to it's, its is served for possession.
        • Please forgive my imperfect demeanor when I use a smartphone. I hardly even spellcheck, let alone utilize special characters, else it would be the 5 minute hassle that *this*post has become.

          • I honestly don't remember writing that, nor even reading the post above it. I must have been randomly typing into the wrong window or something....
    • by camperslo (704715)

      So.. Flame is about as related to Angry Birds as Fox News is related to facts then?

      Fox ought to be in a pickle with some angry bird attorneys, but given a little more time, Fox may be able to reveal a deeper connection proving beyond any doubt that both sets of developers share some common generic code and have either eaten pickles, had parents that ate pickles, or been closely associated with others who have eaten pickles. It's no wonder so many people, especially talk/comedy show hosts, relish the depth of Fox reporting.

  • Americans will generally only read news articles that are of interest of something pertaining to them or their general situation. Iran issues, to Americans, probably don't mean much of anything. Angry birds on the other hand.... now THAT is the stuff that matters. Nothing more than a poor attempt of Fox to garner page views from readers.
  • ffs (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:45PM (#40186905)

    Lua is not an acronym. It is a WORD. It even strains on the lua.org website, that Lua is a word meaning moon in Portuguese, not an acronym.
    If it were an acronym it'd stand for "learn ur acronyms".

    • Re:ffs (Score:5, Funny)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Friday June 01, 2012 @06:04PM (#40187277) Homepage Journal

      Not only is it used by gamers and LaTeX (obviously a secret fetishist group), it's got a Foreign Name! That must surely be all the evidence Fox needs!

  • And fox news will soon fade away as the baby boomers fade away

    • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Friday June 01, 2012 @06:00PM (#40187173)
      I wish I could agree with that, but there are plenty of people in my age demographic (25-35) who get all of their talking-points from Fox News. I'm not sure why we eased up on the laws allowing Rupert Murdoch to own media in the U.S., but we pay for it every day in the form of continuing ignorance and whack-job propaganda/conspiracy theories.
      • by suutar (1860506)
        Because he paid a lot of money to a lot of people.
      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>why we eased up on the laws allowing Rupert Murdoch to own media in the U.S.

        Probably the FCC doesn't have any control over any media except Broadcast TV. That means cable tv and newspapers are laissez faire and largely unregulated. In theory the FCC could force Rupert to give-up FOX Broadcast, but none of his other properties.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:16PM (#40188257)

      as long as there are 'young republicans' (and, sadly, there are) then there will be faux news, telling it how they want to hear it.

      blame the churches and religion. they keep feeding the republicans more and more new blood.

    • by skids (119237)

      Nope, not generational. A majority of people are very easily swayed by persistent propaganda. They may figure out what their own interests are in their 30s, but under constant pressure they will eventually wear down and become scared and confused and angry at their lot in life. They will allow themselves to get roped into an "us versus them" mentality where the person with the largest bank-roll gets to decide who the "them" is (and there need not even be a real "them.") And research into human psycholog

  • by rk (6314) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:46PM (#40186933) Journal

    Seriously, some people should be banned for life from writing tech stories. That's somewhat akin to saying the Queen of England is tied to a kidnapping because the ransom note was written in English.

    • Seriously, some people should be banned for life from writing stories.

      fixed it for you

    • by almitydave (2452422) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:56PM (#40187091)

      ... or "BMW 3-Series tied to Nazi death camps" ... or "Nuclear testing tied to Fukushima disaster" ... or "President Obama tied to Florida cannibal"

      It's almost like a game, find the most outrageous thing you can tie to the most popular innocent sounding thing, using the most superficial of reasons.

      "Killer Physics: Gyroscopic Effect Tied to All Motorcycle Fatalities!"

      I'm not even all that creative, I'm sure others can do better.

      • by im3w1l (2009474)
        "Killer Physics: Gyroscopic Effect Tied to All Motorcycle Fatalities!" this is like saying that angry birds is related to LUA. We should instead focus on other products that also use the gyroscopic effect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyroscope#Modern_uses [wikipedia.org] "iPhone 4 tied to motorcycle fatalities"
      • by mooingyak (720677) on Friday June 01, 2012 @06:09PM (#40187393)

        "President Obama tied to Florida cannibal"

        Somehow I can't help but read this one literally.

      • Actually, BMW was one of the third reich's major defense contractors and produced most of the airplane engines used by the Luftwaffe. The little cross logo is actually supposed to be a spinning propeller. They also used slave labor from a number of the concentration camps, particularly Dachau. By the end of the war, more than half of BMW's workforce was concentration camp prisoners.

    • by tool462 (677306)

      I don't see the Queen denying it. Do you? If she isn't an accomplice, why doesn't she just come out and say so???

  • Even on Lua's site (which Fox links to), they have a section [lua.org] explaining how to spell and pronounce the name.

    Please do not write it as "LUA", which is both ugly and confusing, because then it becomes an acronym with different meanings for different people. So, please, write "Lua" right!

    You think they'd at least get that part right (when they link to the website).

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:51PM (#40187005)

    This just in - Fox News is related to Terrorism in that both use the english language to communicate.

    See what I did there Fox? Yeah. We saw what you did there too.

    • by identity0 (77976)

      Sadly, people who watch Fox News likely do think that way about human languages like Arabic or Persian.

      People just see 'that squiggly terrorist-speak' and freak out.

    • Pirate Bay tied to terrorism.

      Terrorist have been using cyber-weapons on the internet, the same medium used by the Pirate Bay to distribute files.

  • Yeah, and? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hartree (191324) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:52PM (#40187025)

    The Washington Post wrote a similar piece yesterday that I read. Headline was less direct but linked it in the first paragraph.

    As did a number of other sources.

    So, how does this apply only to Fox?

    • by XeroSine (1067136)
      Because people will bitch about anything they don't like and blow it out of proportions just because. Fox news, in most cases, has about as much relevant info as MSNBC and CNN....this is why i only get my news from sources outside the mainstream media....you know, BBC and associated press.
      • by Hartree (191324)

        I tend to follow a pretty broad array of sources.

        One key is to remember what the slant of the site you're reading is and adjust accordingly.

        Example: Xinhua (Chinese news agency) does a lot of reporting on economic development in southeast asia that doesn't get picked up by most western sources and it's usually fairly good info. However, I take what they say about the Dalai Lama or Falun Gong, for example, with a rather large grain of salt. ;)

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>you know, BBC and associated press.

        The BBC was just caught doctoring a ~5 year old Iraqi photo of child-aged corpses, in order to make that claim that Syrian children had *just* been killed in a massacre. So..... you can't trust BBC either. They too manufacture/distort their reporting.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9293620/BBC-News-uses-Iraq-photo-to-illustrate-Syrian-massacre.html [telegraph.co.uk]

    • Because the Fox article seems to be the most retarded one of the bunch. Most other news sites mention the "gamer code of lua" or was that "LUA" in passing. The Fix article makes it one of the main points. This is what happens when they get too used to publishing opinions.
      • by EvanED (569694)

        The Fox article was spot on, at least when I saw it, in comparison to MSNBC's piece-of-shit excuse for an article.

        I'd link it but I don't want to give them the traffic. (The title was "Was Flame virus written by cyberwarriors or gamers?" if that gives you any idea.)

    • How about giving us a link so we can make some kind of comparison?

  • I guess were witnessing reality news for the masses. If there wasn't an audience for fox news,they'd been gone long ago. I know from standing in the grocery lines however that National Enquirer draws its own crowd of gullible lamers. Fox news has basically capitalized on that but in real-time.

    • by jd (1658)

      Famed sci-fi author Nigel Kneale wrote a screenplay about reality TV [wikipedia.org] back in 1968. Yes, it is available to watch [youtube.com]. I won't say Fox is the only guilty party - all broadcasters are guilty, even the Cartoon Channel and that should be logically impossible - but that doesn't mean it's any less stupid.

  • I stopped reading before I even finished the title.
    I'm assuming even the biggest idiots on this site (like myself) know better than to listen to anything that spews from that "news" site.
    • by Jonner (189691)

      I stopped reading before I even finished the title.

      I'm assuming even the biggest idiots on this site (like myself) know better than to listen to anything that spews from that "news" site.

      That's really fair and balanced of you. I eagerly await your list of approved news sources as I wouldn't want to be biased.

      • There's no such thing as a good news source these days, but that doesn't mean I won't call out morons like Fox on their BS.
  • This just in, Fox News is produced using video cameras, the same technology used by terrorists to create beheading videos!
  • It's a comedy site, mashing random shit together into implausible narratives is exactly what they're supposed to be doing. This is no different to what The Onion or Cracked do and I don't see the bile getting thrown at those corners of the intertubes. The only thing objectionable here is the quality. It's not hilarious but not terrible. Keep trying guys and girls!
  • If sales in Angry Birds drops, then Rovio can sue Fox for libel, or harmed reputation, or whatever?

    This has a very good chance of causing quantifiable, demonstrable harm. I hope it does, and I really hope Rovio slams Fox's collective rectal cavities against the wall for it.

  • It's far worse than you realize, Fox: LUA is also heavily used by World of Warcraft! So, the Flame virus that's taking over your computer has ties to demon-worshipping warlocks, pagan druids, and heretical shadow priests.

  • We all can watch Fox News. It's easy and there's nothing to stop us. But should we? Is there any redeeming value that accrues by watching it, or is it all pure commercial pro-establishment rubbish whose primary purposes are a) to make money from advertising, and b) promote a particular political ideology, not necessarily in that order?

    There are many similar things that we can do: smoke, drink sugary beverages, eat meat every day, drink lots of booze, live a sedentary lifestyle, obsessively and bitterly wish

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Well *I* can't watch Fox News, it makes me want to puke. Stupid propaganda.
      Except Shep Smith maybe.

  • by Georules (655379) on Friday June 01, 2012 @07:09PM (#40188175)
    Fox News is commonly written in English, the same language used to write Twilight. This clearly ties them to sparkly vampires who are destroying our youth.
  • by sootman (158191) on Friday June 01, 2012 @08:02PM (#40188905) Homepage Journal

    ... just like every single malware site on the Web. BEWARE!

    Fuck. Seriously. What will it take to get that sorry excuse for a news organization removed from existence? This shit is just so fucking wrong.

  • Ok, this is a secret so don't go telling anyone.

    Angry Birds is a Finnish conspiracy AND an attack plan for our inevitable assault on Iran. It also funds the Finnish military.

    Did you think think that the name Rovio (=stake or huge-ass bonfire) is just a coincidence?

  • So in other words, par for the course, accuracy and relevance wise, when it comes to Fox News reporting.
  • Ok, I agree that the headline is extremely misleading, and yet another disgusting move by Faux News, but I am not at all surprised that they picked Angry Birds if they were already going to spread FUD about games anyway.

    I mean, why would they pick anything else when Angry Bird is probably the most well known game written using this language? Using some random title no one knows about wouldn't have nearly the same effect. But now the attention of the Faux News audience is captured using a game they are quite

  • The latter of which are also used to staff Fox News.

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