Gilding the Lily

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 4:42 pm by George Smith

I’ve certain Wired exists only as a groupie publication for high tech arms manufacturing, anyone wealthy in the Silicon Valley, and cybersoldiers. It will infrequently publish articles claiming cyberwar is hyped. Doubtless, this is some kind of sham.

It’s also into misusing the English language through use of humiliatingly exaggerated praise employed to hook readers on the idea that what is being spoken of is always the [DROP IN YOUR BESTEST SINGLE OR DOUBLE ADJECTIVES] SOMETHING EVER!

Today, on the Flame virus, some headlines and bits:

Meet ‘Flame,’ The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers

Dubbed “Flame” by Kaspersky, the malicious code dwarfs Stuxnet in size — the groundbreaking infrastructure-sabotaging malware that is believed to have wreaked havoc on Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010.

Kaspersky Lab is calling it “one of the most complex threats ever discovered.”

“It’s pretty fantastic and incredible in complexity …,”

“It will take us 10 years to fully understand everything.”

How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware in History

No link. Google.

One Wired piece informs:

“Wired senior staff writer Kim Zetter won a feature writing award from the Society for Professional Journalists of Northern California last week for her riveting story on how researchers discovered and dissected Stuxnet, a worm intricately programmed to wreak havoc on an Iranian nuclear facility.

“And in a bit of nice timing, Zetter has officially committed to writing a book, tentatively titled Countdown To Zero Day, expanding on the tale …”

As an organization of professionals, The Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California is somewhat like the Indoor Football League. Only smaller.


Southern California has the Los Angeles Times, an NFL franchise so to speak.


  1. Christoph Hechl said,

    May 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Quite a number of people have become highly concerned about the role the ITU played in this discovery.
    They have lately started to introduce themselves as an IT-security agency, which is of course absolute nonsense, since anything they ever did was protect overly complex standards, disguised as recommendations.
    Might be their next try to gain control over Internet standards and/or the DNS system.
    In any way it’s most likely the old FUD strategy at work.

  2. Christoph Hechl said,

    May 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Link to an article with the ITU “recommendations” for the Internet:

  3. George Smith said,

    May 30, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I have a hard time getting excited over something that reads:

    “A balkanized Internet would be devastating to global free trade and national sovereignty.”

    That claim’s just rubbish. How do you ‘balkanize’ a decentralized global network with the resources to overcome any such thing? From our standpoint, somewhat hilariously, a little ‘devastation’ to global free trade (which is impossible anyway, the toothpaste can’t go back in the tube) would be a good thing.

    Also you have to know that sSovereignty” is right wing/Tea Party code (they’re the only people who use it in discussions in this country) and McDowell is a GWB administration appointee so almost everything written there … I dunno. I don’t even understand how the ITU, which is simply a client of Kaspersky’s, can do anything. In any case, the raw numbers on Flame infections aren’t high.

  4. George Smith said,

    May 30, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Anyway, here’s McDowell a few years ago, calling the agency he works for a ‘threat to Internet freedom..”


    Notice a pattern? McDowell, in that op-ed also in the Journal, was against ‘net neutrality.’ He’s a Republican quack. And in the context of recent US history he’s a standard example of a GOP appointee to an agency for the purpose of mucking up the work of the agency and confusing people so that things don’t work right and they come to hate government.

    With regards to the recent op-ed, McDowell is just putting forward the regular GOP thing of hating on anything ‘proposed’ by the UN, even when it hasn’t actually proposed anything or whatever it is recommending is being ignored by everyone and has no power. Again, you have to understand this as a product of a party that always sees the UN behind everything, like fluoride in the water.

  5. George Smith said,

    May 30, 2012 at 7:43 am

    McDowell was also against increasing broadband access in the US because it might subtract profit from infrastructure private sector providers who have to help pay for it:


    Also in the WSJ. That guy’s certainly no friend to the Internet. Just the opposite.

  6. George Smith said,

    May 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Here’s another laugher:

    “Net access, especially through mobile devices, is improving the human condition more quickly—and more fundamentally—than any other technology in history.”

    Yeah, iJunk is really getting rid of all our problems. I can see it everyday.

    Thread creep, obviously. ;)

  7. Christoph Hechl said,

    May 30, 2012 at 7:49 am

    It was the first link i found that contained the ITU part in english and i actually didn’t bother to read the rest, since it was in the WSJ.
    The ITU is the follow up of the CCITT which has (as far as i see it) a history of trying to overregulate telecommunications in a way that excludes smaller companies or nonprofit projects.
    They hold most of the standards that are named [letter].[number] like H.264 and a huge number of others. Since basically they consist of large TelCo companies they have to avoid monopoly laws, which they do by calling their standards recommendations.
    Right now my point is: They claim to be able to improve Internet-Security and prevent cyberwar (yes they really used that term) if they get to regulate the way international Internet traffic is handled and how much is charged.
    Kaspersky is a snakeoil company like all the other antivirus dealers and i wouldn’t doubt it for a second if someone told me that many virusses have been created by these companies just to sell the remedy for them.

  8. Chuck said,

    May 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Doing my reading on Flame, it seems that it’s complex only in that it’s a chum-bucketload of stuff that’s been around for at least a decade–old hacks such as keyboard-stroke capture. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a copy of Back Orifice in it somewhere.

    The silly thing is so unsophisticated that it’s 20MB long!

    So why is the press paying attention?

  9. George Smith said,

    May 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Well, the press release was — I think — well timed. It came in on the tail end of a very slow news weekend. Plus, the press is primed for this manner of thing. It’s not like exaggeration is novel in cybersecurity stories.

    And one has to hand it to Kaspersky Labs. They told the story very well.