Daily Independent Journal a malicious site that tricks users into downloading malware and infecting its victim’s computer. Daily Independent Journal is nothing but a fake news outlet and just recently released its EPA Superfund Toxic Waste Site Records Downloader. Don’t be fulled. It’s actually malware.

The Superfund is a US EPA project to clean up the toxic waste sites in The United States. There are currently over 1,300 toxic waste sites on the Superfund’s National Priorities List (NPL).

Activists and journalists that would like to research these sites are often left with the arduous task of locating and downloading all of the relevant records.  So Daily Independent Journal decided to take advantage of that fact and prey on unsuspecting victims. Their Superfund downloader pretends to streamline the process, allowing a researcher to quickly locate and acquire all electronically available records for any given toxic waste site. However this is not the case. Anyone who downloads this “Records Downloader” is simply downloading a computer virus.

Each Superfund site on the NPL has an associated identifying number, called a site ID.  Once the site ID is located, it can then be entered into the downloader (you can enter any random number it doesn’t really matter) and the software will pretend to scrape the US EPA website and steal all your personal information and infect your computer.

It’s estimated that there are well over a half a billion records associated with the Superfund, but that only 3 to 4% of these records are available on the US EPA website.  The rest are stored, in hard copy form, in federally required document repositories around the country.

The computer virus was conceptualized by Matthew Berdyck who self-proclaims himself as a Silicon Valley software engineer, experimental filmmaker, activist, musician, and US travel expert.

Along with being the publisher of fake news outlet Daily Independent Journal, Matthew Berdyck is also the founder of SuperfundResearch.org which has been rebranded as ToxicWasteSites.org since it was shutdown by his web hosting for being a fraud and filled with malware. Matthew Berdyck also claims to be a former software tester for FedEx, however the story of who he has worked for in the past always changes depending on who is asking.

The computer virus released by Matthew Berdyck is currently in beta format and is expected to be developed into a web app in January of 2019. [web app never released]

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