back to article Ohio coder accused of infecting Macs, PCs with webcam, browser spyware for 13 years

A computer programmer has been accused of hacking, committing identity theft, and creating child pornography after allegedly developing custom malware to take control of thousands of computers. Phillip Durachinsky, 28, of North Royalton, Ohio, USA, was indicted on Wednesday on 16 separate charges relating to the alleged …

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Aaaargh

"Cyber skills"

"cyber hacker"

...can someone please tell the FBI (also other federal agencies, the UK government, etc) that it's not 1996 any more?

It cyber-gets on my cyber-tits.

(even if we can only drag them into the early 2000s by getting them to use the ePrefix - "e-skills", etc - it'll be progress, I suppose)

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Re: Aaaargh

I disagree. This guy knows how to cyber really well, so they used the correct term.

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Re: Aaaargh

'Cyber' is still very much a word in the FBI's part of the world. The FBI has a cyber crimes division, not a computer crimes division...

Even outside that word it is fairly well entrenched in the security side of IT. People get hired for cybersecurity positions, not computer security positions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Aaaargh

But Cyber is the new buzzword.

We were refused funding for a new Information Security post, so we literally did a find/replace for Information with Cyber and got it approved.

Welcome to government, where appearances are everything.

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Re: Aaaargh

Want to triple you budget for it, too?

Work in "blockchain" and a few references to bitcoin as well.

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I3N
Pint

Got one of those trade show camera blocking slider thingies for Xmas.

In my stocking ... says IEEE ... passed the tradition of trade show swag on to children

Been using a hole punch on painter's tape ... didn't google recently run an anniversary hole punch a-gif ...

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Malware activated by searching for smut is found on Law Enforcement computers? I'm *SHOCKED*

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Wonder if this malware appears anywhere on the House of Commons network?

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Big Brother

"The code was an interesting mix of very old and new coding styles."

Kind of like someone extending and re-writing the same application over the years.

Which (it appears) is exactly what has been happening.

The fact it triggers on searches for pr()n suggests a backup strategy that if discovered it would allow the operator to discourage users who found it from reporting it. *

*Or possibly compiling a really comprehensive list of such sites for their personal use.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "The code was an interesting mix of very old and new coding styles."

"*Or possibly compiling a really comprehensive list of such sites for their personal use."

That's what proxy and content filter logs were designed for.

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Re: "The code was an interesting mix of very old and new coding styles."

"

The fact it triggers on searches for pr()n suggests a backup strategy that if discovered it would allow the operator to discourage users who found it from reporting it.

"

Nope. It triggered on porn so that he could concentrate on spying on people who were more likely to be having a wank within view of the webcam. Otherwise he'd be looking at 1000's of boring webcams showing empty rooms, people typing and looking at cat videos.

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Should be interesting to read on how they managed to trace him.

But law enforcement will not give out that side of the story.

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Optional Title

"For more than 13 years, Phillip Durachinsky allegedly infected with malware the computers of thousands of Americans and stole their most personal data and communications," said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan.

Was his next line - which was naughty as this is the job of the NSA, FBI etc.

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Linux

Malware which could commander infected systems

"malware dubbed Fruitfly, which could commandeer infected macOS and Windows PC systems."

I'm confused, did the malware infect the systems or were they already infected. What exactly was the infection vector on the infected macOS and Windows PC systems? Were none of these infected systems running a firewall and anti-malware software.

Oh, wait here's a link to a detailed analysis of the FruitFly malware:

"FruitFly .. is thought to have flown under the radar for many years. In this paper we’ll begin by analysing the malware’s dropper, an obfuscated Perl script"

"Though OSX/FruitFly.B’s initial infection vector remains unknown .. we do know that it is installed persistently".

Well that about answers everything, you have to configure your Mac to run obfuscated Perl scripts when you click on them. For Windows I guess the old fashioned method of clicking on a malicious URL or opening an infected email attachment would do. Lastly, given that these infections occurred at research facilities and universities, just what use was the malware detection tools for the money.

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Facepalm

Sad wanker watches wankers wank

Is life in North Royalton so boring this is all there is to do? For thirteen years!

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Re: Sad wanker watches wankers wank

New tongue twister?

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