Chuck Norris botnet doesn't infect routers...

...it stares them down until they infect themselves


A so-called Chuck Norris botnet is hijacking poorly-configured routers and DSL modems.

According to ComputerWorld, the botnet spreads by malware that installs itself on routers and modems by guessing the default administrative password and seizing control due to many devices being configured to allow remote access.

Masaryk University's Institute of Computer Science in Brno, Czech Republic named the malware and its botnet after the American tough-guy actor and internet meme because of a comment in its source code that reads: "in nome di Chuck Norris." For those who don't parlate Italiano, that means "in the name of Chuck Norris."

Norris is best known for his martial arts prowess and round-house-kicking acumen in films like "The Way of the Dragon." He is also cited as the reason that Wally is hiding and noted for playing Russian Roulette with a full-loaded pistol and winning.

The Chuck Norris malware takes control of MIPS-based devices running the Linux operating system by launching a password-guessing dictionary and can change the DNS settings in a router. Once a router has fallen victim to Norris, the device will redirect a user to a malicious webpage that attempts to install a virus.

Once installed, the malware blocks remote communication ports and scans the network for other vulnerable systems.

The malware also exploits a known vulnerability in D-Link devices, ComputerWorld reports. D-Link Systems did not return our requests for comment

Jan Vykopal, head of the network security department with Masaryk Univerity's Institute of Computer Science, told ComputerWorld that although he doesn't know how widespread the Norris infection is, he claims to have evidence of hacked machines "spread around the world: from South America through Europe to Asia."

Because it installs on a router's RAM, Chuck Norris can be removed by restarting the device. Or perhaps that's just what he wants you to think. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch

    Fingers crossed the telescope will finally take to space on 22 December

    Engineers have finished pumping the James Webb Space Telescope with fuel, and are now preparing to carefully place the folded instrument inside the top of a rocket, expected to blast off later this month.

    “Propellant tanks were filled separately with 79.5 [liters] of dinitrogen tetroxide oxidiser and 159 [liters of] hydrazine,” the European Space Agency confirmed on Monday. “Oxidiser improves the burn efficiency of the hydrazine fuel.” The fuelling process took ten days and finished on 3 December.

    All eyes are on the JWST as it enters the last leg of its journey to space; astronomers have been waiting for this moment since development for the world’s largest space telescope began in 1996.

    Continue reading
  • China to upgrade mainstream RISC-V chips every six months

    Home-baked silicon is the way forward

    China is gut punching Moore's Law and the roughly one-year cadence for major chip releases adopted by the Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others.

    The government-backed Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is developing open-source RISC-V performance processor, says it will release major design upgrades every six months. CAS is hoping that the accelerated release of chip designs will build up momentum and support for its open-source project.

    RISC-V is based on an open-source instruction architecture, and is royalty free, meaning companies can adopt designs without paying licensing fees.

    Continue reading
  • The SEC is investigating whistleblower claims that Tesla was reckless as its solar panels go up in smoke

    Tens of thousands of homeowners and hundreds of businesses were at risk, lawsuit claims

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whether Tesla failed to tell investors and customers about the fire risks of its faulty solar panels.

    Whistleblower and ex-employee, Steven Henkes, accused the company of flouting safety issues in a complaint with the SEC in 2019. He filed a freedom of information request to regulators and asked to see records relating to the case in September, earlier this year. An SEC official declined to hand over documents, and confirmed its probe into the company is still in progress.

    “We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing," a letter from the SEC said in a reply to Henkes’ request, according to Reuters. Active SEC complaints and investigations are typically confidential. “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation,” a spokesperson from the regulatory agency told The Register.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021