“Earlier this year Forbes reported on an especially creepy strain of malware known as FruitFly targeting Apple Macs,” Thomas Fox-Brewster reports for Forbes. “At the time, it was unclear just what the spy tool was for, though it appeared to be used for surveilling people’s personal Macs, in particular peeping at them through their webcam.”

“Now the U.S. 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 also of producing child pornography,” Fox-Brewster reports. “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.'”

“FruitFly was capable of stealing files, pilfering passwords, as well as turning on the microphone and the camera,” Fox-Brewster reports. “Durachinsky would listen in on people’s conversations and watch them in secret, whilst taking detailed notes of his alleged snooping, the DoJ said. In some cases, FruitFly would alert him when the victim was searching for pornography, according to the indictment. FruitFly didn’t only work on MacOS, Durachinsky had developed a Windows version too, the DoJ claimed.”

“‘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 Cronan,” Fox-Brewster reports. “A spokesperson from the Ohio brach of the DoJ said Durachinsky was arrested in January last year and has been in custody ever since.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yuck.

Call us paranoid, but… that’s why we use camJAMR Webcam Covers on our Macs. They’re black, so they work perfectly with our iMacs and they’re removable/reusable. We’ve stuck and unstuck them hundreds of times. We just leave them on and peel them aside when we want to use the FaceTime HD camera cameras.

Google engineer proves any iPhone app with camera permission can spy on you – October 26, 2017
Mac malware undetected for years allows webcam photos, key-logging, and more – July 25, 2017
Mysterious Mac malware ‘FruitFly’ has infected hundreds of victims for years – July 24, 2017
How to completely disable your Mac’s FaceTime camera – March 1, 2017
Newly discovered Mac/Linux malware ‘Fruitfly’ watches your every move – January 19, 2017
How to keep your Mac’s camera from spying on you, no tape required – December 8, 2016
Mark Zuckerberg covers his MacBook’s camera and microphone with tape – June 22, 2016
How to disable the iSight camera on your Mac – February 19, 2015
Orwellian: UK government, with aid from US NSA, intercepted webcam images from millions of users – February 27, 2014
Sextortion warning: It’s masking tape time for webcams – June 28, 2013
Research shows how Mac webcams can spy on their users without warning light – December 18, 2013
Ex-official: FBI can secretly activate an individual’s webcam without indicator light – December 9, 2013
Lower Merion report: MacBook webcams snapped 56,000 clandestine images of high schoolers – April 20, 2010