Ohio man indicted for using ‘Fruitfly’ malware to spy on Americans

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An Ohio man was charged in a 16-count indictment on Wednesday for allegedly using malware known as “Fruitfly” to surreptitiously record people by secretly taking over their computer cameras and microphones, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The indictment said that from 2003 through early 2017, Phillip Durachinsky, 28, collected data from thousands of computers belonging to individuals, companies, schools, a police department and the U.S. Department of Energy.

He collected a wide variety of information from computers, including bank records, photographs, peoples’ Internet searches and keystrokes and potentially embarrassing communications.

The malware was also designed to detect whether computer users typed words associated with pornography, allowing Durachinsky to watch and listen to them without their knowledge, the indictment said.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Jonathan Oatis