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Czech Researchers Say 'Chuck Norris' Kicks Bots

Emerging botnet could redirect users to data-stealing sites, researchers say

Czech security experts say they have uncovered a global botnet that may be redirecting Web surfers to other sites for the purpose of stealing their data.

Jan Vykopal, head of the security project of Masaryk University, told the Czech news agency CTK earlier this week that the Czech Defense Ministry discovered the botnet during a project called CYBER, in which several agencies have been researching ways to improve the country's cyber defenses.

The botnet's creators have dubbed the network "Chuck Norris" after the famous Hollywood actor and martial arts expert.

Researchers told the CTK that the botnet could allow operators to breach sensitive user data, such as access details for bank accounts, email boxes, passwords to various services, social networks, and other personal data.

The botnet could conceivably be used for attacks on well-secured servers, as well, Vykopal said, but the researchers are uncertain of how many devices it has martialed.

The botnet covers all of Europe and South America and reaches as far as China, Vykopal said. The central server that controlled the botnet was originally found in Italy, Vykopal told CTK.

"After we announced the existence of the network to Internet providers in the world, the main server was disconnected. However, its copies have appeared in other places in the world," Vykopal said.

Experts from Masaryk University found the botnet using a "honeypot," an Internet-connected device they deliberately let be attacked by the botnet virus in order to track down its source, Vykopal told the CTK.

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Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one of the top cyber security journalists in the US in voting among his peers, conducted by the SANS Institute. In 2011 he was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Voices in Security by SYS-CON Media.

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