The technical description of the “Fruitfly” malware is “spyware.” But given the way it has allegedly been used, a better label would be creepware – creepware that should have easily been detected, but somehow stayed under the radar for more than a decade.

According to a 16-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday in US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, its creator, Phillip R. Durachinsky, 28, used it to spy on thousands of victims for more than 13 years. Durachinsky spent this time not only collecting personal data but also watching and listening to victims through the webcam and microphone, and using some of what he collected to produce child abuse imagery.

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