CLEVELAND -- A man accused of hacking thousands of computers in the Cleveland area as well as nationally and internationally has been indicted federally.
Phillip Durachinsky, 28, of North Royalton, was indicted Tuesday in federal court.
Officials says he was the creator of a malware that was named "FruitFly," that, according to the indictment, he installed on computers and that enabled him to control each computer by accessing stored data, uploading files, taking and downloading screenshots, logging a user’s keystrokes, and turning on the camera and microphone to surreptitiously record images and audio.
Officials believe surveillance was the primary purpose of "FruitFly," which was able to spy on people by using the webcam.
FBI officials say Durachinsky did not know most of his victims.
The current indictment does not list specific victims, but Durachinsky was arrested last year after a series of hacks at Case Western Reserve University were reported.
He has been in federal custody since last year.
Last January, the university sent out an email to students that about 100 computers were compromised by malicious software.
Durachinsky is accused of using the malware to steal the personal data of victims, including their logon credentials, tax records, medical records, photographs, banking records, Internet searches, and potentially embarrassing communications. According to the indictment, Durachinsky used stolen logon credentials to access and download information from third-party websites.
“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. This case is an example of the Justice Department’s continued efforts to hold accountable cybercriminals who invade the privacy of others and exploit technology for their own ends," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. “
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