Apparently, when Chuck Norris wants to create a botnet, he’s such a badass that he doesn’t even have to attack computers.
The Chuck Norris virus, so called because of the words “in nome di Chuck Norris,” (Italian for “In the name of Chuck Norris”) in the source code, attacks routers and DSL modems by guessing commonly used passwords. It also exploits a security vulnerability present in many D-Link routers.
This virus, which takes advantage of an incredibly common vulnerability, is potentially incredibly dangerous. Even the most security-minded of consumers will often forget to change the default password on their routers after setting them up. Because this virus can change DNS settings of the router, it can also hijack the browsers of computers on its network, steering them to malware-infested sites or phishing sites.
In addition, due to the widespread use of Linux and MIPS-based chips in internet-connected devices (like routers, modems and even cable boxes), this particular vulnerability could be devastating. According to Jan Vykopal, head of network security research for Masaryk University’s Department of Computer Science (and the discoverer of the virus), devices in Asia, Europe, North and South America are already infected, and it appears to be spreading quickly.
While this particular virus might not become the next conficker, it suggests that similar exploits could be on the way. Despite the fact that many people have antivirus software on their computers, most people completely overlook the security of their routers. It’s only a matter of time before another more effective version of this exploit finds its way into more routers and cable boxes.