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Fruitfly Mac Malware Creator Charged

14 January 2018

Durachinsky is said to have developed malware named Fruitfly that he installed on computers after he had gained access to them.

Researchers found the Fruitfly malware a year ago.

In addition to targeting individuals, Fruitfly made its way onto computers at various companies, police departments, schools, and a subsidiary of the US Department of Energy.

He's also accused of taking screenshots, logging keystrokes and recording audio/video via the victim machines' webcams and microphones.

The government charges Durachinsky with stealing sensitive information including passwords, tax, bank and medical records, photographs, web searches and "potentially embarrassing communications", the Justice Department said in a news release.

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Apparently, he saved millions of images and often kept detailed notes of what he saw.

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.

Durachinsky also purportedly used stolen login credentials to access and download information from third-party websites. The charges (which mostly cover violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Wiretap Act) include an indictment for the production of child porn, but it's not clear to what degree the images or the eavesdropping were involved.

Forbes reported that Durachinsky was charged a year ago with hacking into computers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), which had reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that 100 of its computers were infected. 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 USA and European companies may have designed it".

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

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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.

This allowed him to discover the IP addresses of some 400 infected Macs that contacted the C&C server, as well as that the malware apparently wasn't used to steal banking credentials or install ransomware.

Fruitfly had a control panel that also allegedly allowed Durachinsky "to view live images and data from several infected computers simultaneously", the indictment says. "It is this kind of collaboration that has enabled authorities to bring this cyber hacker to justice".

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

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Fruitfly Mac Malware Creator Charged