Alleged Anonymous hacker raided by FBI after exposing Ohio rape scandal

from A 26-year-old Kentucky man says the FBI raided his home earlier this
year in an attempt to investigate two hacker groups and the role they
played in exposing the players linked to a controversial rape case in
Steubenville, Ohio.

An aspiring rapper from Winchester, KY named Deric Lostutter
revealed Thursday that agents with the Federal Bureau of
Investigation conducted a search of his home two months ago and
seized computers, electronics and other items pursuant to a
warrant signed April 15 by a federal judge for the Eastern
District of Kentucky.

Lostutter has not been charged with any crime yet, but the FBI
combed through his house in search for items pertaining to the
hacktivist group Anonymous and an offshoot, KnightSec.

According to the warrant, Lostutter is likely the target of an
investigation into KnightSec’s online campaign earlier this year
to collect, analyze and distribute information about the sexual assault of a teenage girl the previous summer in the town of
Steubenville, around 400 miles away from Winchester near Ohio’s
border with Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“Everybody was drinking,” one of the two men later
convicted of the assault told ABC News earlier this year. 

Two athletes from the Steubenville High School “Big Red” football
team were arrested and charged with the sexual assault, but
KnightSec said there was more to the story. Even though evidence
surfaced online showing that there were more than just two high
school students privy to the assault on the night it occurred,
authorities only charged two Big Red athletes, and the media made
little note of the event. That changed in late 2012 when
KnightSec suddenly emerged and began to engage “Op RedRoll” in an
effort to draw attention to the assault and what some called an
orchestrated cover-up to keep the case under wraps. Before long,
the group began publishing emails, videos, images and other media
that they said tied more than just two perpetrators to the crime. 

Then in January KnightSec released a video of another
Steubenville High athlete mocking the assault only moments after
it occurred. The clip quickly circulated around the Web and the
previously ignored rape case gained the attention of the
mainstream media. The judge in the case later noted the role of
KnightSec and Anonymous in exposing the story, and a number of
articles and investigative pieces were launched by outlets across
the United States. 

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, were convicted in March
after a court agreed that they digitally penetrated the girl,
first in a car and then in a house, and they stand to stay in
detention until they both turn 21. Op RedRoll and KnightSec both
relaxed operations after, but now it’s been revealed that the FBI
wasn’t ready to call it quits. 

Lostutter wrote online this week that authorities stormed his
house in April in search of, among other items, information about
the hacking of, an unofficial website for the
football team that was compromised earlier this year during the
KnightSec campaign. When asked to identify himself during the
raid, Lostutter said he did so by stating the moniker used by the
hacktivist who spearheaded the operation. 

Lostutter said he went to answer his door when around a dozen FBI
Swat Team agents jumped out of a truck and pointed assault
riddles at his head. 

“I was handcuffed and detained outside while they cleared my
house. My brother soon emerged later with his new girlfriend,
both bewildered that the FBI was at my house seeing as I have no
prior criminal history, both of them in handcuffs as well,”
he wrote. “The Swat team left my belongings in the floor, my
dogs shocked, my family nervous, my garage door battered open
with a ram though I stated I had a key and the RV camper window
broken for entry though I stated to pull hard on the door.” 

“They said, ‘Who are you?’ I responded, ‘KYAnonymous,’” he

In February, a hacker using the alias “Batcat” told the
Steubenville Herald-Star that he hacked after
being approached by KYAnonymous. When Lostutter’s home was
searched two months later, he said the FBI showed him emails
allegedly sent between himself at Noah McHugh, the hacker said by
authorities to have compromised the football team fan site using
the Batcat alias.

The search warrant executed authorized the FBI to seize records
and information relating to conspiracy to gain authorized access
of, an associated email account registered to the
site’s webmaster and other information that could have been
obtained by gaining access to those servers. They also attempted
to see “any and all accounts used to communicate with the
online ‘hacker’ groups KnightSec and/or Anonymous,” as well
as malicious software and Guy Fawkes masks — the disguise that
has become synonymous with the hacktivist collective. 

Lostutter has not been charged yet, but believes an indictment is
being penned in secrecy right now.

“I was emailed their intent to send out a ‘Target Letter’
which means they are going to try to indict me for a federal
offense, (most likely a felony and two misdemeanors) to a secret
grand jury of 23 individuals, for which I cannot be present to
state my side, nor state my innocence,” he wrote. 

Jason Flores-Williams of the Whistleblower’s Defense League said
he will be representing Lostutter if the indictment is filed, and
spoke Thursday of the matter to Adrian Chen of Gawker. 

“We certainly hope the United States comes to its senses and
decides not to indict, and if they do we will aggressively
litigate the incident,” said Flores-Williams. “What’s
unique here to me is that it’s not a national security issue.
This isn’t at the forefront at the NSA or the CIA. This comes out
of the heartland of the country, and this is a person who is just
trying to do what is right for the heartland.” 

On the Whistleblower’s Defense League website, a page for case
says Flores-Williams will represent Lostutter pro bono. “Deric
had the courage to stand up against rape — should we not now have
the courage to stand with him?” the page asks. The WDL was
formed earlier this year by Flores-Williams and Jay Leiderman, a
California-based attorney who previously represented a man
accused of being the Anonymous hacker known as Commander X. 

A spokesman for the FBI’s Cincinnati office, Todd Lindgren, said
in an email to Gawker, “we are unable to confirm or deny the
existence of any potential investigation into this matter.”

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