Ohio Man Accused of Spying on Thousands Via Malware

Phillip Durachinsky

Creepers gonna creep and Phillip Durachinsk, and OH man, was doing just that and getting away with it for 13 years using his own Fruitfly malware.

The malware was also created to detect whether computer users typed words associated with pornography, allowing Durachinsky to watch and listen to them without their knowledge, the indictment said.

He has been in federal custody since past year.

More disturbingly, the DOJ claims Durachinsky configured Fruitfly to alert him whenever a user typed words associated with pornography. He allegedly saved millions of images and often kept detailed notes of what he witnessed.

"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.

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

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Durachinsky is further alleged to have watched and listened to victims without their knowledge or permission and intercepted oral communications taking place in the room where the infected computer was located.

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

Durachinsky is said to have developed malware named Fruitfly that he installed on computers after he had gained access to them. Once he captured login credentials for Fruitfly-infected machines, Durachinsky is accused of creating virtual machines on those computers. He allegedly used stolen usernames and passwords to access and download information from third-party sites.

"Durachinsky is alleged to have utilised his sophisticated cyber-skills with ill intent, compromising numerous systems and individual computers", said FBI special agent Stephen Anthony, who led the investigation.

He started hacking computers in 2003, when he was a teenager, and authorities say he has been able to access the computers of companies, schools, a police department and other government entities, including a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy, authorities say. "It is this kind of collaboration that has enabled authorities to bring this cyber hacker to justice".

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