Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageAnti-abortion group hacks Planned Parenthood, FBI notified

By Megan Hamilton     Jul 28, 2015 in Crime
On Sunday night, hackers who oppose Planned Parenthood's abortion practices released the non-profit's website databases along with names and email addresses its employees.
The breach apparently didn't expose the personal information of patients or employees of organizations affiliated with Planned Parenthood, The Daily Dot reports.
Planned Parenthood has been embroiled in controversy that began earlier this month after anti-abortion activists created an uproar by releasing an edited video showing a director with the organization discussing the donation of fetal organs and tissues to medical research, as mentioned in Digital Journal earlier. This is a legal but definitely controversial procedure.
The cyberattack was politically motivated, one hacker who uses the pseudonym "E" told the Daily Dot.
"Trying to mold an atrocious monstrosity into socially acceptable behaviors is repulsive," E said. "Obviously what [Planned Parenthood] does is a very ominous practice. It'll be interesting to see what surfaces when [Planned Parenthood] is stripped naked and exposed to the public."
On Sunday, Tom Subak, Planned Parenthood's Chief Information Officer told the Daily Dot that the organization wasn't aware of a breach in their systems.
"We think we have really good security, especially on flagging suspicious behavior," he said. "We have not [received any flags]."
He was unable to provide additional information Monday morning, the Daily Dot reported.
In a statement released to CNN, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said that the organization is investigating the breach.
"Anti-abortion extremists are willing to do anything to stop women from accessing the reproductive health care they are seeking," she said. "Extremists have broken laws, harassed our doctors and patients, produced hack videos, and now are claiming to have committed a gross invasion of privacy--one that, if true, could possibly put our staff members at risk."
She also said that the FBI and the Justice Department have been notified.
"We are working with top leaders in this field to manage these attacks," she said, per Politico.
The hack, Laguens said, is a "new low."
"Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women's health care provider in this country, and anti-abortion extremists are willing to do anything to stop women from accessing the reproductive health care they are seeking," she said. "Extremists have broken laws, harassed our doctors and patients, produced hack videos, and now are claiming to have committed a gross invasion of privacy — one that, if true, could potentially put our staff members at risk."
The Center for Medical Progress, which claims credit for releasing the videos earlier this month, says that the videos show that Planned Parenthood is "selling" fetal tissues for profit, in violation of federal law, according to The Washington Post. Planned Parenthood strongly disputes this and has said that the discussion of fees was in reference to legally allowed compensation for the costs associated with tissue donations.
According to MSNBC, abortion patients can consent to have fetal tissue donated so that it can be used by medical researchers, but federal law prohibits profiting from these donations or changing the abortion procedure for this purpose. Opponents of abortion rights have been fighting to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding that the organization receives for contraception and other services, and they claim that the Center for Medical Progress videos portray illegal activity.
In an interview on Sunday with ABC News, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards denied any wrongdoing.
"I want to make clear that Planned Parenthood has broken no laws," she said, and added that while the two doctors in the videos have been reprimanded, "I stand behind our clinicians and doctors."
The video, she said, was "highly selectively edited," and that the video's creators had links to anti-abortion groups who endorse or have conspired to commit violence against abortion providers.
"They have zero credibility," she added.
The hacker group, which calls itself 3301, says it intends to decrypt and release internal Planned Parenthood emails "soon," the Daily Dot reports. As yet, no emails have been released, the Daily Dot reports.
On the website which features the database dump, the group provided possible insight to their intentions:
"We've noticed quite a lot of attention has been diverted to a supposedly malicious organization known as Planned Parenthood. The actions of this 'federation' are not seen as right in the eyes of the public. So here we are, the social justice warriors, seeking to reclaim some sort of lulz for the years and thousands of dollars that Planned Parenthood have wasted and made harvesting your babies."
The hackers say they used something called a Blind SQL, a type of attack that exploits an unseen error message returned from a website's database. It's considered "blind" because the attacker does not need to see the error messages to carry out the attack, the Daily Dot reports.
As for the videos, they have now spurred an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Post reports.
"This video is abhorrent and rips at the heart," the Republican committee leaders said in a statement released on July 15. "The committee will get to the bottom of this appalling situation."
Senator Rand Paul, (R-Ky), who's running for president in 2016 told Fox News Sunday that he is going to push for Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.
"I think the time is now to discuss whether taxpayer dollars should be going to such a gruesome procedure," he said last weekend. "People are outraged by this, and I think the American people deserve to have a vote on it."
The organization Our Bodies, Ourselves reports that estimates regarding the number of illegal abortions in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million per year. Before Roe V. Wade, up to 5,000 American women died each year as a direct of illegal abortions.
Now, the death rate in the U.S. from this commonly performed procedure is very low, the organization notes, and the death rate from abortion is 0.6 per 100,000 procedures.
More about Planned parenthood, FBI, Hack, antiabortion group, Controversy
More news from
Latest News
Top News