Winchester Man Sentenced To 24 Months For Illegally Hacking Into Website And Lying To Federal Agents
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Winchester, Ky., man, who previously admitted to hacking and taking control of a high school sports website, to gain publicity for his online identity and harass and intimidate the website owner and others, has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison.
Today, U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves sentenced Deric Lostutter, 29, for conspiring to illegally access a computer without authorization and lying to an FBI agent. Noah McHugh, Lostutter’s co-conspirator, previously pleaded guilty in September 2016 to accessing a computer without authorization and has been sentenced to eight months in prison.
“Ensuring proper online security and privacy is critically important to all of us,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Computer hacking and cyber harassment create real victims, causing enormous damage to real people, organizations, and institutions. This type of conduct simply cannot be tolerated and the great work of our FBI partners in this matter validates our ongoing efforts to protect the public from illegal computer intrusions and other cybercrime.”
Lostutter admitted that in December 2012, he and McHugh hacked into a fan’s website, created for Steubenville High School sports teams, to bring attention to a rape for which two Steubenville High School football players had been arrested in August 2012, and at the time were being held in custody.
Lostutter filmed a video wearing a mask and wrote a manifesto, which were both posted on the website to harass and intimidate people, and to gain publicity for Lostutter’s and McHugh’s online identities. Specifically, the messages threatened to reveal personal identifying information of Steubenville High School students, and made false claims that the administrator of the fan website was involved in child pornography and directed a “rape crew.”
As part of the same hack, Lostutter and McHugh accessed the administrator’s private email account, and then publicly posted a link to download the administrator’s emails on the fan website. Lostutter and McHugh changed the website so no one could access anything regarding athletics and could only view the video, the manifesto, and the link to the administrator’s private emails. Lostutter and McHugh then used their online identities in social media and news interviews to promote themselves and their hack.
In 2013, Lostutter lied to the FBI, by stating in an investigative interview that he had not written the manifesto posted to the website, that he had not accessed the password-protected section of the fan website, and that he had not changed the administrator password for the website, which prevented the administrator from regaining control of his own website.
Acting U.S. Attorney Shier and Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, jointly made the announcement.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj Gupta prosecuted this case on behalf of the federal government.