Science

OH man indicted for using 'Fruitfly' malware to spy on Americans

OH man indicted for using 'Fruitfly' malware to spy on Americans”

From 2003 until January 2017, Durachinsky allegedly used Fruitfly to break into computers owned by private citizens and companies, schools, a police department, and the government. The U.S. Department of Justice announced the 16-count indictment on Wednesday.

According to court documents, 28-year-old Philip R. Durachinsky was charged with Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, Wiretap Act violations, aggravated identity theft and production of child pornography.

He allegedly installed onto the computers a homemade malware named "Fruitfly" which enabled him control the devices and spy on what users were doing.

Fruitfly, which we first heard about in January 2017, consists of just two files created to open a backdoor into the Macs it infects, letting it receive instructions from the hacker's computer.

Phillip Durachinsky, 28, used the malware to steal people's personal data, including usernames, passwords, financial records, medical records, photographs, internet searches and things that might be considered embarrassing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland.

Thomas Conway, Durachinsky's attorney, did not immediately return a phone call.

More news: Jewels worth millions stolen in Paris Ritz armed robbery

Some of the conversations, in particular, centered around pornography, and Durachinsky apparently saved millions of images and kept detailed notes.

"For more than 13 years, Phillip Durachinsky allegedly infected with malware the computers of thousands of Americans and stole their most personal data and communications".

Cleveland.com reported that Durachinsky was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents a year ago, following a series of hacks at Case Western Reserve University, where the OH man was a student, the university identified more than 100 computers that were breached using 'FruitFly'.

Researchers found the Fruitfly malware a year ago. Patrick Wardle, chief research officer at Digita Security who discovered one strain of the malware infecting Macs, saw at least 400 infected computers.

He said the span of the hacking campaign was "mind-blowingly long", and incredibly invasive. Apple did not respond to a request for comment. "If my computer got hacked for ransom, that would suck. It's nothing I've seen before".



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