Threat Management, Malware

Docs reveal how Fruitfly Mac spyware initially spread

A tweet from security researcher Patrick Wardle has shed new light on the original attack vector used to spread the Mac spyware Fruitfly to unsuspecting victims more than a decade.

Wardle, the chief research officer at Digita Security and director of research at Synack, said he came across some FBI documents that identify the point of attack as externally facing Mac services with weak passwords, or passwords obtained via third-party breaches.

"The attack vector included the scanning and identification of externally facing services, to include the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP, port 548), RDP or other VNC, SSH (port 22), and Back to my Mac (BTMM), which would be targeted with weak passwords or passwords derived from third-party data breaches," reads an excerpt of the documents included in Wardle's tweet.

In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Ohio resident Phillip Durachinsky, 28, of developing OSX.Fruitfly around 2003, infecting thousands of Mac computers with the malware, and using it over the next 13 years to spy on his victims. According to a January 2017 Malwarebytes analysis, the malware is capable of capturing screenshots, controlling webcams, simulating mouse clicks and key presses, and connecting to other devices on the same network. It also gives the attacker access to the infected user's files and credentials.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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