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. ®