Windham man allegedly hacked Snapchat accounts of seven womenBy CHRIS GAROFOLO
Union Leader Correspondent
February 06. 2018 2:46PM
WINDHAM – Police say a Windham man was arrested for allegedly hacking into the Snapchat accounts of seven young women.
Investigators have yet to determine if any pictures of the victims’ were viewable online.
Michael Sarnie, 21, of 5 Oakwood St., was charged with nine counts of identity fraud and seven counts of computer-related offenses (misuse of a computer or network), which police expect to wrap into a felony-level case.
He was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear March 19 in 10th Circuit - District Division - Salem for arraignment.
Police say Sarnie logged into the accounts of the young women, all of whom live in Windham and are at least 18 years old, without permission and posed as them to view content.
Police have not said whether Sarnie knew any of the alleged victims.
“Essentially what we have for evidence now is … he was gaining access to the victims’ accounts – Google accounts and Snapchat accounts – by forging and changing passwords and basically hacking into their accounts,” said Capt. Mike Caron with the Windham Police Department. “It takes some expertise. I think you have to be familiar with the IT world. It’s not something you or I could probably do.”
Snapchat is a popular image messaging and multimedia mobile application that sends out user-content, such as videos or pictures, that vanish in up to 10 seconds. The users, however, each have an account where their photos remain viewable.
Sarnie allegedly was able to get into the accounts of at least seven women. Police are trying to determine if any of the women were under the age of 18 in photographs in the hacked accounts and, if so, whether the images were of a sexual nature.
“That part of the investigation is still ongoing, we need to send the computers up for forensic examination, so we don’t even know if he took the photos,” Caron said. “None of our victims right now know if any photos were removed from their accounts.”
One of the victims came to police last fall, saying she felt one of her pictures had ended up on the internet and was quickly deleted. Police hope to determine whether any photos from hacked accounts ended up online.
Caron said there could be more charges or victims as a result of the forensic analysis.
Windham police say Sarnie does not have any criminal history as an adult.