The U.S. Justice Department unsealed 16-count indictment charges on Wednesday against a computer programmer through Ohio who can be accused of creating along with installing spyware on thousands of computers for more than 13 years.
According to the indictment, 28-year-old Phillip R. Durachinsky can be the alleged author of FruitFly malware that will was found targeting Apple Mac users earlier last year worldwide, primarily inside United States.
Interestingly, Durachinsky was just 14 years old when he programmed the first style of the FruitFly malware, along with This particular full-fledged backdoor trojan went largely undetected for several years, despite using unsophisticated along with antiquated code.
The malware was initially discovered in January 2017 by Malwarebytes along with then Patrick Wardle, an ex-NSA hacker, found around 400 Mac computers infected with the newer strain of FruitFly. However, Wardle believed the number of infected Macs might likely be much higher.
The malware can be capable of advanced surveillance on macOS devices with the ability to remotely take control of webcams, microphones, screen, mouse, along with keyboards, as well as install additional malicious software.
Since the source code of Fruitfly also includes Linux shell commands, the researchers believe the malware might work just fine on Linux operating system.
through 2003 to January 2017, Durachinsky used spyware, which was later named FruitFly, to gain access to thousands of computers belonging to individuals, companies, schools, a police department, along that has a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Durachinsky allegedly used the malware to steal the personal data of victims, including their tax records, banking records, medical records, login credentials, photographs, Internet searches, along with potentially embarrassing communications.
“He can be alleged to have developed computer malware later named “Fruitfly” that will he installed on computers along with that will enabled him to control each computer by accessing stored data, uploading files, taking along with downloading screenshots, logging a user’s keystrokes, along with turning on the camera along with microphone to surreptitiously record images along with audio,” the DoJ says.
Besides installing Fruitfly, Durachinsky can be also accused of producing child pornography, as in some cases, the malware alerted him if a user typed any pornography term. that will’s likely such action might prompt recording.
Durachinsky can be facing charges of Computer Fraud along with Abuse Act violations, Wiretap Act violations, production of child pornography, along with aggravated identity theft.
However, the charges are merely allegations at This particular time, along with the defendant can be presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.