Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Hacker Hijacked School Webcams to Produce Child Pornography, Indictment Alleges

Hooded man holds laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration Hacker Hijacked School Webcams to Produce Child Pornography, Indictment Alleges
Sherri Watson | 12 January, 2018, 20:01

Phillip Durachinsky, 28, used the malware to steal people's personal data, including usernames, passwords, financial records, medical records, photographs, internet searches and things that might be considered embarrassing, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland.

Early a year ago, a piece Mac malware came to light that left researchers puzzled.

In some cases, the malware alerted him if a user typed words associated with pornography.

Durachinsky spied on thousands of people, plucking millions of photos and other sensitive data from their computers, while keeping "detailed notes of what he observed", according to the indictment.

Malware suspect Phillip Durachinsky. The malware gave Durachinsky remote access to infected computers from his home in North Royalton, 20 miles south of Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, according to the indictment released Wednesday.

Durachinsky is also claimed to have watched and listened to victims and intercepted communications in the room where the infected computer was located. A probe of Durachinsky's computer found software for the malware. According to the indictment, Durachinsky used stolen logon credentials to access and download information from third-party websites.

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.

Forbes reported that Durachinsky was charged a year ago with hacking into computers at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), which had reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that 100 of its computers were infected. Security firm Malwarebytes previous year also found that the malware had infected biomedical research institutions.

Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony added: "Durachinsky is alleged to have utilized his sophisticated cyber skills with ill intent, compromising numerous systems and individual computers".

Authorities say a computer hacker in OH spied on people, companies and even a police department, sometimes using cameras and microphones of compromised computers to record young people having sex without their knowledge.

Authorities allege that Durachinsky developed a malware named "Fruitfly" that installed on computers and allowed him to access data, take screenshots, log keystrokes, and turn on the camera and microphone to record the device's user.

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".