Hacked Facebook accounts, stolen photos
- Article by: JIM ANDERSON
- Star Tribune
- April 20, 2011 - 2:37 PM
In a case speaking to the perils of social networking, a 26-year-old Woodbury man faces 13 felony charges after being accused of hacking into Facebook accounts and duping young women into becoming friends, then stealing their photos and personal information to post on sex-oriented websites.
Timothy P. Noirjean has been charged with 13 counts of identity theft and is scheduled to make his first appearance in Washington County District Court on May 26.
After investigators with the Oakdale Police Department seized Noirjean's computer at the home of his parents, the complaint says, it was found that 13 women ranging in age from 17 to 25 years old were victimized. Noirjean told police he had gained access or tried to gain access to accounts of more than 100 people, and evidence shows the number could be much higher.
According to the complaint, a 20-year-old woman from Oakdale told police in February 2010 that someone had accessed her personal information after pretending to be a friend through Facebook. The woman said she was exchanging instant messages with somebody she thought was her friend. The woman was logged off her Facebook account while messaging, but when she tried to log in, she was told her password had been changed.
The next day, the woman was able to access her Facebook page. But in a link to a website on a message from the woman she thought was her friend, she discovered a sexually explicit website, the complaint said.
There, she found three photos of herself that had been stored in her e-mail account. Her first and last names and city of residence also were listed.
The woman told police that she had unwittingly disclosed the information while exchanging messages with the person she thought was her friend. When investigators questioned the friend, she said that passwords to her Facebook and e-mail accounts had been changed without her knowledge the previous day.
The woman contacted police later that same day, reporting that a second friend's Facebook account had been hacked by someone trying to get personal information. The second friend also found photos of herself and other friends on the same sex-oriented website, the complaint said.
The second friend also told police that she had "friended" a person named "Steve Mills" through Facebook and was sent a link that crashed her computer. "Mills" - a phony name used by Noirjean - told the second friend that the link was his website and described a photo he had taken from her computer that he had then posted on his website. "Mills" told the second friend he would remove the photo if she sent him a nude photo of herself, which she refused to do, the complaint said.
When confronted by police in the basement of his parents' home, Noirjean admitted to hacking into the accounts and posting the photos, the complaint said. He denied knowing that he was doing anything wrong.
He admitted going to Facebook pages, obtaining e-mail addresses, then persuading the women to reveal answers to their security questions to allow him to reset passwords. He then used the accounts he hacked to portray himself as the account holder, contact their friends and gain more access to information, the complaints said.
Along with the women named in the complaint, investigators said they found 92 folders in Noirjean's computer containing names or photos of women. Another 235 e-mail addresses with security information were found in another folder.
Jim Anderson • 651-735-0999
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