Sophisticated 'Flame' Computer Virus Shares Programming Roots with Angry Birds

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News Posted: Thu, May 31 2012 11:05 AM
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, or until someone uses a the same programming language behind one of the most popular mobile games of all time to construct one of the largest cyberweapons the world has ever seen. The folks at Fox News spoke with a number of cyber security experts who said that the sophisticated 'Flame' malware currently wreaking havoc in the Middle East was written in the LUA computer language, which happens to be the same language Rovio used to build Angry Birds. Small world, eh?

Roel Schouwenberg, a senior security researcher with Kaspersky Labs, told Fox News that Flame is twenty times larger than previous cyberbombs, and immensely more powerful. So large, in fact, that it contains 250,000 lines of code and is like having a virtual army at your disposal. It's both fascinating and frightening that something like that could be built using gamer code.


What does Angry Birds and the one of the world's most volatile cyberweapons have in common? Both were built using the LUA programming language.

Once a system is infected, the Flame virus can fire up webcams, microphones, and tap into Bluetooth connections to infiltrate contacts, record conversations, and perform other underhanded tasks, Fox News says. It's unknown what person or organization is responsible for igniting Flame, but it probably comes from the same source as the Stuxnet virus, which was used to burrow into Iran's nuclear power plant.
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RTietjens replied on Thu, May 31 2012 12:52 PM

Pardon me, but that's "Faux News." Remember, Fox is the only news network who has ever sued in Federal court for the "right" to report fiction as news. As for common roots with Angry Birds, the LUA language is also used for writing World of Warcraft add-ons.

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JDiaz replied on Thu, May 31 2012 6:32 PM

Don't confuse politics with facts, there's a reason you'll never find what you stated on any legal site. Since what actually happened was Fox was sued for not running a story!

Basically, Jane Akre did an investigative report for local Fox affiliate on a particular company's use of Growth Hormone in their cows and accusations it led to human health issues.

When the report was done, the cow company asked Fox to do a review of the piece to check it for bias prior to running it...Fox ultimately did not run the story on their station.

So Akre claimed not running the piece constituted lying, by "hiding" the story, which was nonsense and so of course Fox won the case.

Really, if Fox News was really making stuff up all the time then no one would consider them a news network at all and they wouldn't have the huge audience that they do and score prominent interviews with even the President.

In reality most people just confuse the News part of the network with their political commentators, but that's like confusing the newspaper editorials and opinion pieces with the news. Every news agency these days has a political leaning, doesn't mean they don't still report the news and there are a lot worse offenders than Fox when it comes to political commentary. So don't confuse disagreeing with them politically with the quality of their news reporting.

 

While to the actual topic of this article, malware makers can make malware using any programming language they want.  So no real surprise but the sophistication of the attack and the methods used are what are surprising security experts.

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demizey replied on Fri, Jun 1 2012 7:18 PM

Flame is only partially written in Lua, it has lots of C++ too. So basically Flame is connected to practically everything!!?1!?!?!?!! Oh noes, Windows is connected to Flame!11!1!!

And for the record, Angry Birds only use Lua for game levels, everything else is written in other languages (Obj-C for iOS, Java for Android et.c.)

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