An Ohio man has been charged with purportedly spying on thousands of people through their computers for more than a decade. Targeting the Notoriously safe Apple brand with his alleged spyware 'Fruitfly'.
The Department of Justice has accused Philip Durachinsky of creating malware to infiltrate computers in schools companies and a police department.
Mr. Durachinsky is alleged to have stolen data and secretly recorded images and audio.
He has been charged with fraud, computer abuse, and identity theft.
Because some of the victims were minors, he has also been charged with producing child pornography. Although I'm not sure exactly how that leap was made. In total, Mr. Durachinsky faces 16 separate charges.
Mr. Stephen Anthony, FBI agent assigned to the case said the organizations that Mr. Durachinsky is claimed to have jeopardized, shared key information with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies which led to his arrest.
As well as individuals, Mr. Durachinsky is said to have hacked into schools, companies, a police department and a subsidiary of the US Department of Energy. The FBI is calling his cyber-skills "sophisticated".
The malware used to penetrate machines, which were predominantly Apple Mac laptops and desktops, is called Fruitfly. It was first identified in early 2017 and left security researchers perplexed because it was not apparent how the software managed to infect machines.
Analysis of the malware and machines it was found on suggests it was first used in 2003. Apple produced a patch to fix the vulnerabilities it exploited in late January last year.
He is said to have collected a wide variety of information from computers, including bank records, photographs, peoples' Internet searches and keystrokes and potentially embarrassing communications by designing malware to detect whether computer users typed words associated with pornography, which allowed Durachinsky to watch and listen to them without their knowledge, according to the indictment.
Mr. Durachinsky was arrested soon after information about Fruitfly was made public and was charged in a 16-count indictment on Wednesday.