According to Forbes, the US Department of Justice has unveiled an indictment against 28-year-old North Royalton, Ohio, resident Phillip Durachinsky, who is not only accused of spying on Apple Mac owners via Fruitfly but producing kiddie porn.
Prosecutors alleged Durachinsky had been installing spyware on people's PCs for more than 13 years "in order to watch, listen to and obtain personal data from unknowing victims".
The software found its way into individuals' computers, company PCs, schools, a police department and the government, including a body owned by a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy. FruitFly was capable of stealing files, pilfering passwords, as well as turning on the microphone and the camera. Thousands of Macs were infected, prosecutors said.
Durachinsky would listen in on people's conversations and watch them in secret, whilst taking detailed notes of his alleged snooping. FruitFly would alert him when the victim was searching for pornography. Durachinsky later developed a Windows version, but he used that less.
A spokesperson from the Ohio branch of the DoJ said Durachinsky was arrested in January last year and has been in custody ever since.
Durachinsky’s software was working in Macs whose owners were insisting that they were using an operating system which was more secure by design.
The reason that they thought this is that there was very little malware out there for a Mac because there were fewer machines. Apple never took the opportunity to educate Mac users on the threats facing them. It just pretended that it was super secure and that people did not need to worry if they used its software.
What Fruitfly proved was that Mac software was no more secure than any other operating system and it could be knocked over by a 15 year old. What is alarming is that the software went undetected for so long.
The indictment against Durachinsky didn't specify whether the Apple Mac strain of FruitFly was used to spy on children, though it is understood to be the case.