North Royalton hacker stole potentially embarrassing information from computers, feds say

Hacker indicted for breaking into computers at CWRU and other institutions

Federal Indictment Alleges 28-Year-Old Cleveland Man is Creator of 'Fruitfly' Malware, Spied on Thousands of Computers Over 13 Years

The indictment alleges that Durachinsky took part in the hacking scheme from 2003 until January 2017, using computers owned by individuals, organizations and schools.

He took detailed notes about what he saw through his spying and kept millions of the images he gained access to through Fruitfly. Thousands of Macs were infected, prosecutors said.

Cleveland.com reported that Durachinsky was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents a year ago, following a series of hacks at Case Western Reserve University, where the OH man was a student, the university identified more than 100 computers that were breached using 'FruitFly'.

The DOJ claims the suspect allegedly used the malware " to steal the personal data of victims, including their logon credentials, tax records, medical records, photographs, banking records, Internet searches, and potentially embarrassing communications".

In 2003, when Durachinsky was 15 years old, he created a string of malware that would later be called "Fruitfly" and infected tens of thousands of IP addresses worldwide, according to the USA attorney's office. In a finding that proved prescient, about 20 percent of the infected machines were in Ohio.

Authorities said that the malware sometimes alerted Durachinsky to certain words being types, such as those associated with pornography.

The FruitFly malware was also the subject of a presentation at the Black Hat USA 2017 and DEF CON 2017 security conferences. His presentation focused on creating a custom command-and-control system for someone else's malware in order to better analyze it (see Mac "Fruitfly" Infections More Numerous Than Believed).

Wardle concluded that Fruitfly "was created by a hacker or some malware author to basically spy on victims for perverse reasons, which kind of sucks".

He is also charged with production of child pornography from 2011 until his arrest.

It's still unclear how Fruitfly ended up on computers. He is alleged to have developed computer malware later named "Fruitfly" that he installed on computers and that enabled him to control each computer by accessing stored data, uploading files, taking and downloading screenshots, logging a user's keystrokes, and turning on the camera and microphone to surreptitiously record images and audio. They knew that malware dubbed Fruitfly captured screenshots and webcam images and had been installed on hundreds of computers in the United States and elsewhere, possibly for more than a decade. A probe of Durachinsky's computer found software for the malware.

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