Ohio Man Accused of Spying on Thousands Via Malware

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The announcement of the indictment was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, First Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja for the Northern District of OH, and Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI's Cleveland Field Office.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Anthony said that Durachinsky was alleged to have used "sophisticated cyber skills with ill intent, compromising numerous systems and individual computers".

Durachinsky is charged with Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, Wiretap Act violations and aggravated identity theft.

The US Justice department accused Philip Durachinsky of creating malware to infiltrate victims' computers.

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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.

Durachinsky's attorney couldn't be reached immediately for comment.

Authorities said that the malware sometimes alerted Durachinsky to certain words being types, such as those associated with pornography. The US Department of Justice has charged OH resident Philip Durachinsky with 16 crimes for allegedly writing malware, nicknamed "Fruitfly", that gave him unfettered access to the PCs of "thousands" of individuals and institutions between 2003 and January 2017. Unbeknownst to his victims, he allegedly listened to and watched their interactions and conversations by turning on their cameras and microphones using a control panel that he ran on a computer at his home.

This allegedly allowed him to steal reams of sensitive PII including online credentials, tax records, medical records, photographs, banking records and internet searches. He allegedly used stolen usernames and passwords to access and download information from third-party sites. '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'. A probe of Durachinsky's computer found software for the malware. He is also charged with production of child pornography from 2011 until his arrest.

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