Docs reveal how Fruitfly Mac spyware initially spread

News by Bradley Barth

The origins of Fruitfly, the Mac spyware, have been revealed, according to a tweet from security researcher Patrick Wardle.

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 US 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.

* Originally published in scmagazine.com North America.

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