Man Charged For Remotely Controlling Devices, Spying On People For 13 Years

Man Charged For Remotely Controlling Devices, Spying On People For 13 Years

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 US attorney's office. According to the indictment, Durachinsky saved millions of images and often kept detailed notes of what he saw.

The computer programmer allegedly used the malware to steal the personal data of victims, including their tax records, logon credentials, medical records, photographs, banking records, internet searches and potentially embarrassing communications.

Durachinsky now faces charges of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, Wiretap Act violations, production of child pornography, and aggravated identity theft.

Officials said some of the computers infected by Fruitfly went beyond personal computers.

A OH man was charged Wednesday as part of chilling, 13-year cybertheft campaign in which he allegedly stole personal data from thousands of people and remotely controlled their devices, allowing him to monitor unsuspecting victims and listen to their communications.

The malware gave him access to data and allowed him to upload files, download and take screenshots, track keystrokes, and turn on the camera and microphone - and record it all.

"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. Durachinsky had access to personal computers along with devices at companies, schools, a police department, and a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

In many cases, according to court documents, Durachinsky "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".

He also allegedly produced child pornography with the material obtained. Agents have been investigating since then, and Durachinsky remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Last year, Case Western Reserve University contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Cleveland to report that a hacker had installed malware on their network.

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