Prosecutors say Mac spyware stole millions of user images over 13 years

Prosecutors say Mac spyware stole millions of user images over 13 years

"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", Cronan said in a statement.

He also allegedly took advantage of his unauthorized access to steal login credentials; tax, medical, and banking records; photos, internet search data; and other "potentially embarrassing communications". FruitFly would alert him when the victim was searching for pornography. Moreover, he saved millions of images and kept detailed notes of what he discovered.

A North Royalton, Ohio man accused of infecting thousands of computers with malware to spy on people with their own webcams for more than a decade has been indicted.

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. According to local newspaper Cleveland Scene, the FBI Cleveland branch was investigating a malware incident at the Case Western Reserve University.


Besides the creep factor, a stunning thing about Fruitfly is that it is both unsophisticated and relatively easy to spot, yet according to the DoJ, Durachinsky was able to use it undetected from 2003 until January 2017, when he was arrested and jailed on another charge. It also allowed the operator to watch and listen in on the victims via their webcams and microphones, and otherwise take full control of infected machines.

When Mashablereported about the spyware back in July, Synack chief security researcher Patrick Wardle said, "A$3 hacker built this to spy on users for probably perverse reasons". Further, authorities say that he also used stolen credentials to access and download users' data from third-party websites. Thousands of Macs were infected, prosecutors said.

"Durachinsky is alleged to have utilized his sophisticated cyber skills with ill intent, compromising numerous systems and individual computers", said Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony.

According to the filing, the malware ended up on computers owned by individuals, companies, schools, a police department, local, state and federal government entities, and perhaps most alarmingly, a computer owned by a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy, which is responsible for the safe handling of nuclear materials and the maintenance of the nation's nuclear arsenal. "It is this kind of collaboration that has enabled authorities to bring this cyber hacker to justice".

Related Articles

  • Arpaio, Sinema and more: Candidates vying for Sen. Jeff Flake's seat

    Arpaio, Sinema and more: Candidates vying for Sen. Jeff Flake's seat

    Arpaio, who turns 86 this year, is older than any current US senator and would be the oldest freshman senator ever elected. Arpaio made a name for himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff" through targeting immigrant communities in Arizona.
    Shilpa cries after Akash gets evicted

    Shilpa cries after Akash gets evicted

    Akash Dadlani , the insane contestant of the Bigg Boss 11 house, was recently evicted during the midnight eviction. It has to be recalled that Akash was quite close to Arshi, he hugged her, kissed her and even shared the same bed.
    Jury convicts Turkish banker in Iran sanctions evasion scheme

    Jury convicts Turkish banker in Iran sanctions evasion scheme

    The government's star witness, the flamboyant Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, testified against Atilla. Turkish banker Hakan Atilla was found guilty in a USA court of violating Washington's sanctions against Iran.
  • Chris Christie: New Jersey better off after tenure

    Chris Christie: New Jersey better off after tenure

    After the election, Christie served briefly as the head of the transition team before he was demoted. Nevertheless, Christie told NJ.com he is pleased with the way his eight years as governor went.
    Gucci Just Opened Their First Restaurant In Florence, Italy

    Gucci Just Opened Their First Restaurant In Florence, Italy

    The interior of the restaurant is created to make its great cuisine stand out - and references Gucci's cultural heritage. Bathed in a soothing yet striking shade of green, the Gucci Osteria is helmed by celebrated chef Massimo Bottura.
    Fighting Sessions is the wrong path to marijuana reform

    Fighting Sessions is the wrong path to marijuana reform

    The Green Mountain state's federal prosecutor said with any drug case, her focus is on addressing violence. Sessions's guidance most prominently overturned a 2013 memo from then-Deputy Attorney General James M.
  • Myanmar: Military's mass grave admission exposes extrajudicial killings of Rohingya

    Myanmar: Military's mass grave admission exposes extrajudicial killings of Rohingya

    In 1999 he covered the tumultuous events in East Timor, and in 2003 he covered the Iraq war while embedded with US Marines. Rohingya parents were refusing vaccinations because Buddhist security officers accompany those offering to provide them.
    How Your Favorite Celebs Rang in 2018

    How Your Favorite Celebs Rang in 2018

    Gomez and her friends reportedly had a quiet dinner party Sunday night (December 31), and Bieber stopped by. As the publication noted, Gomez and Bieber have actually vacationed in Cabo together before.
    Three magnitude-5 earthquakes strike Iran-Iraq border, rattle Baghdad - USGS

    Three magnitude-5 earthquakes strike Iran-Iraq border, rattle Baghdad - USGS

    A magnitude 6.6 quake flattened the historic city of Bam in south Iran and killed 26,000 people in 2003. Six had a preliminary magnitude of at least 5 and two registered at magnitude 4, according to reports.
  • Pistons, Jazz Interested In Deal With Bulls

    Pistons, Jazz Interested In Deal With Bulls

    Chicago collected seven straight wins from December 8-20 upon Mirotic returning from injuries suffered in the altercation. Johnson has also reported that the Jazz have expressed "preliminary interest" in the forward, but nothing is imminent.
    Gretchen Carlson Named Chairwoman of Miss America Organization

    Gretchen Carlson Named Chairwoman of Miss America Organization

    The reshuffling of Miss America comes less than two weeks after a bombshell HuffPost exposé about the organization. Former Miss Americas were gathered together in some sort of Justice League situation to help pick a new leader.
    Ford unveils all-new Edge ST before Detroit auto show

    Ford unveils all-new Edge ST before Detroit auto show

    There's a WiFi hotspot that'll let you connect up to 10 devices, and Ford says you can also upgrade to an eight-inch touchscreen. An understated mid-sized people mover, the Edge may seem an unlikely place for Ford to start spicing up its SUV line.