Prolific hacker from OH indicted, developed 'Fruitfly' malware to spy on thousands


He took detailed notes about what he saw through his spying and kept millions of the images he gained access to through Fruitfly.

Wardle reverse-engineered the command-and-control infrastructure for a "B" variant of Fruitfly, finding that at least 400 computers were infected with it and that the malware had been around for at least five years. Companies, schools and a police department were infected by the malware.

The FBI arrested Durachinsky in January 2017 after his malware was found on Case Western Reserve University's computer system, according to court filings. More from the news release from the U.S. District Attorney's office: According to the indictment, Durachinsky is alleged from 2003 through January 20, 2017, to have orchestrated a scheme to access thousands of protected computers owned by individuals, companies, schools, a police department, and the government, including one owned by a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

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"The control panel allowed defendant to manipulate computers infected with the Fruitfly malware and had a visual interface that allowed defendant to view live images and data from several infected computers simultaneously", the 11-page indictment states.

The Ohio hacker faces up to 20 years in prison.

What Fruitfly proved was that Mac software was no more secure than any other operating system and it could be knocked over by a 15 year old. "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. He was also accused of watching and listening to his victims without their knowledge.

Separately, Durachinsky is facing child pornography charges. The malware program would also alert him if a user typed words associated with pornography.

Thereafter he could access stored data, upload files, take and download screenshots, log a user's keystrokes, and turn on the camera and microphone to surreptitiously record images and audio. Wednesday's indictment provided no details about the Windows version of Fruitfly or whether Linux computers were targeted as well.

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To store the information and obscure the activity, Fruitfly needed bandwidth and storage. They knew that malware dubbed Fruitfly captured screenshots and webcam images and had been installed on hundreds of computers in the U.S. and elsewhere, possibly for more than a decade. Once he captured login credentials for Fruitfly-infected machines, Durachinsky is accused of creating virtual machines on those computers.