Ohio Man Charged With Creating 'Fruitfly' Mac Malware

CUYAHOGA-COUNTY     North Royalton man charged with spying on people via computer malware     
       The man allegedly developed the virus himself

CUYAHOGA-COUNTY North Royalton man charged with spying on people via computer malware The man allegedly developed the virus himself

Just hours ago, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed official charges against an OH man for allegedly developing and infecting thousands of Americans with the Fruitfly Mac malware.

According to prosecutors, from 2003 to early 2017, Durachinsky infected thousands of computers.

According to a copy of the indictment, the suspect's name is Phillip R. Durachinsky, 28, of North Royalton, Ohio.

According to Forbes, which reported the indictment earlier, Durachinsky was arrested in January of a year ago and has been in custody ever since.

Durachinksy targeted computers that were used by individuals, but owned by their employers, schools and even a police department.

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.

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. "This case is an example of the Justice Department's continued efforts to hold accountable cybercriminals who invade the privacy of others and exploit technology for their own ends", said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan.

He is also charged with production of child pornography from 2011 until his arrest.

It said he saved millions of images, kept detailed notes on what he observed, and designed it to alert him if a user typed words associated with pornography.

Early previous year, a piece Mac malware came to light that left researchers puzzled.

The malware gave him access to data and allowed him to upload files, download and take screenshots, track keystrokes, and turn on the camera and microphone - and record it all.

The computer programmer allegedly used the malware to steal the personal data of victims, including their tax records, logon credentials, medical records, photographs, banking records, internet searches and potentially embarrassing communications.

"Defendant used certain Fruitfly victims' computer networks to access sufficient bandwidth to allow the Fruitfly malware to infected protected computers", not only in OH but worldwide, the indictment reads. The DoJ claims he "did use a minor and minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct" to produce "a visual depiction" of this conduct,"knowing that it would be transmitted to others".

More intriguing still at the time, Malwarebytes found Windows-based malware that connected to the same control servers used by Fruitfly.

You might remember the sinister Fruitfly malware that came to light previous year.

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