What, me a hacker?! Target of international manhunt speaks!

Brooklyn Daily
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A target of a global sting on an elusive group of computer hackers this week said he has no idea why feds banged down the door of his former apartment in Bushwick as part of coordinated international manhunt on Tuesday.

Authorities stormed a loft building on McKibbin Street as part of the siege against the intercontinental hacker group Anonymous — and were apparently looking for Garrett Deming, 25, and his roommates.

But to Deming, lead singer of the band Broken Glow and assistant manager at Greene Grape Provisions in Fort Greene, that does not compute.

“I can barely turn my computer on. Any of our computer use is for band promotion stuff,” he said.

Authorities netted 16 alleged hackers across the globe, but ironically, Deming’s roommate, Brenner Eugenides, may have been one of the victims, not one of the perpetrators. He said his Gmail account had been hacked, which could explain why the FBI stormed his former abode.

“There was a bunch of weird Paypal stuff that came up,” he said. “Someone clearly had access to my information.”

Authorities say that Anonymous did attack Paypal after the online payment company stopped accepting donations for the whistle-blower site Wikileaks in November.

Deming said the confusion may stem from the fact that his wireless network had not been password-protected, allowing others to possibly access it and arousing FBI suspicion.

And experts say that’s totally possible.

“If someone cracks into that service and does something illegal or ethical, if that gets tracked, it will get tracked back to the person that owns the Internet, which is you, not them,” said Robert Diamond, a software developer and member of the Brooklyn hacker collective Alpha One Labs.

Deming and Eugenides lived in the fifth-floor apartment at the McKibbin Lofts with their band for a year, but moved to Bed-Stuy a few weeks ago when their lease was up.

The current tenant told us that the agents were looking for the band.

“They asked me about the wireless and whether I was stealing the Internet. They asked if any of my roommates were good with computers,” said Meaghan Ralph, 21, who sleepily answered the door when a half-dozen armed agents knocked at 6:15 am. “They said that they wanted the people that were living there before me.”

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the investigation since the affidavit is sealed, but said that the agents left when they realized that Ralph was not the target of the probe.

Since the raid, the feds have not tried to contact Deming, who added that he only heard about the police action in the newspaper.

“I don’t want them to think I’m hiding from them or running away from them,” he said.

Updated 4:38 pm, July 22, 2011
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