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Lua | 200 comments | Create New Account
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Lua
Authored by: Gringo_ on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 09:03 PM EDT

Lua is a powerful and efficient scripting language. One includes the run time interpreter in your program. My experience with Lua was scripting stress tests for a game server. The idea is that it is almost free form - with a very relaxed syntax, making it both flexible and powerful. It has things like closures and lamba calculus that puts it on the cutting edge of software engineering. Lua was developed in Brazil, and evolved almost as a fluke until it caught on.

My guess is that the virus under discussion has many different configurable modules and they can all be easily scripted via Lua. Lua would be very appropriate for this kind of use, and I would think one that is very experienced in the language would become rather fond of it and naturally want to include it wherever appropriate. The engine is so light weight that cost in terms of memory and performance are not a concern.

I only used Lua for three months, and didn't get to the point of fondness for the language in that time. I was still learning to use the more advanced features of the language and learning best practices, so all that doesn't come naturally to me yet. In contrast, I have been using C/C++ for 20 years, and I can write code in that language without even thinking, unlike my abilities with Lua, so I never felt I was at an advantage using Lua. It was a requirement for the job, not by personal choice.

However, I might guess that someone who is far more comfortable in 4GLs like Java or .Net would likely prefer Lua to C/C++, and they might even rave about the language. Myself, I don't really like 4GLs, and much prefer to stay close to the metal, even being able to drop into assembler where appropriate. For me, programming in a 4GL is like typing with rubber gloves on my fingers. I like to feel the bare metal beneath my finger tips.

So in case that wasn't already a bit more of an answer than you expected, I have one more little tidbit about Lua to tell. You can download Lua for your Android phone and create programs right on the phone. There is a library that gives you hooks into Android's API. Imagine then you are held over waiting for a flight at the airport, with several hours to kill. You could develop a cool app right there on your Android phone in Lua, finding good use for your time.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

Lua's significance in Flame
Authored by: Gringo_ on Tuesday, May 29 2012 @ 09:19 PM EDT

Just in case my comment above wasn't long enough to put you to sleep, I forgot to explain the meaning behind using Lua in that virus. It indicates that the virus was developed by a team, maybe a big team. There would have been specialists developing the low level modules, and then in the end it would be all tied together with Lua so the higher level language members of the team could configure the virus for specific targets, perhaps even on the run. Now I would expect the high level guys may have proficiency in a variety of internet languages like maybe JavaScript, PHP, Python, etc, and for them Lua would be a "lingua franca", a language they could all learn quickly and and easily. You can be up and running in Lua in hours, no matter what your background, even if it's just HTML or XML scripting.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

I like the explanation
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 30 2012 @ 09:55 AM EDT
Something else occured to me with your input. Since the light weight aspect,
simplicity and hierarchical organization (group method) are winners wouldn't the
relative obscurity work as well? Seems to me those 4GL script languages might
divuldge some stylistic clues to the author(s).

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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