Phillip Durachinsky Indicted for Using 'Fruitfly' Malware to Spy

Phillip Durachinsky Indicted for Using 'Fruitfly' Malware to Spy

Phillip Durachinsky Indicted for Using 'Fruitfly' Malware to Spy

Fruitfly, experts say, appeared to be created to spy on Apple Macs.

The DOJ claims Phillip Durachinsky used a malware called "fruit fly" between 2003 and 2017, which was used to spy, record, and steal personal information from victims.

A computer programmer from OH has been charged in a 16-count indictment with creating the "Fruitfly" malware and installing it on unwitting victims' computers with the alleged intent of spying and creating child porn.

A computer programmer has been accused of hacking, committing identity theft, and creating child pornography after allegedly developing custom malware to take control of thousands of computers.

Durchinsky spent around 13 years spying on people from all across the country. That same report claimed that Fruitfly had seemingly been "designed to target only biomedical research computers, suggesting that Chinese or Russian hackers seeking information from US and European companies may have designed it".

He "regularly kept detailed notes" of what he saw, the indictment says.

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Durachinksy targeted computers that were used by individuals, but owned by their employers, schools and even a police department. The FBI found that they had been infected for "several years" and that the same malware had infected other universities.

Fruitfly proved to be such an odd malware specimen that Patrick Wardle, chief security researcher for the vulnerability testing firm Synack, undertook deep research into it.

The technical description of the "Fruitfly" malware is "spyware".

The FBI said that it had seized a laptop belonging to Durachinsky that included the client control software.

The Ohio hacker faces up to 20 years in prison.

The FruitFly malware was also the subject of a presentation at the Black Hat USA 2017 and DEF CON 2017 security conferences. And while it was only recently discovered, it had been in existence for awhile - at least before 2014, part of its code indicated it had been modified for the Mac Yosemite operating system, which was released that year. "It is this kind of collaboration that has enabled authorities to bring this cyber hacker to justice".

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That's exactly what prosecutors now allege.

Authorities said that the malware sometimes alerted Durachinsky to certain words being types, such as those associated with pornography.

Separately, Durachinsky is facing child pornography charges. Prosecutors also said defendant Phillip R. Durachinsky used the malware to surreptitiously turn on cameras and microphones, take and download screenshots, log keystrokes, and steal tax and medical records, photographs, Internet searches, and bank transactions.

To store the information and obscure the activity, Fruitfly needed bandwidth and storage.

It's also not yet clear how Fruitfly managed to infect computers.

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