The servers of Planned Parenthood, the non-profit reproductive health care organization, has recently been hacked by anti-abortionist hacker group. While the compromised data has been leaked onto the Internet.
According to the Planned Parenthood’s official website, they have been providing a common-sense approach to women’s wellbeing and health for last 100 years. They are health care provider, a passionate advocate and a global partner who have been helping similar organizations throughout the world. The organization also offers important reproductive health care and educate the masses including young people, men and women about sex and other related information.
For those of you who are living under a rock, since the beginning of the last month there has been a lot of controversies and disputes over the abortion practices being carried out by the Planned Parenthood organization. A couple of videos already been released by antiabortion activists which have sparked disturbance, both, online as well as offline, which attracted a large portion of media attention.
What those video really reveals is that the organization is involved in the donation of fetus organs, tissues and various other body parts from unborn babies to the medical research facilities. However, it is a legal practice but highly controversial issue too.
This has fuelled a group of antiabortion hackers, who calls themselves the social justice warriors, hacked into the Planned Parenthood servers, breaching all the databases including the email addresses and names of the employees working in the organization. However, the personal information of patients or employees does not appear to be breached.
Hacker’s Take on Planned Parenthood Practices
One of the hacker’s group member, who for the sake of remaining anonymous entitled himself/herself as “E,” got in touch with a technology blog Daily Dot said that this cyber attack was stimulated due to political reasons.
The hacker told,
“Trying to mold an atrocious monstrosity into socially acceptable behaviors is repulsive […] obviously what [the organization] does is a very ominous practice. It’ll be interesting to see what surfaces when [the organization] is stripped naked and exposed to the public.”
Planned Parenthood’s Response
Right after the security breach, the reporting website learned that Tom Subak, the Chief Information Officer of Planned Parenthood, didn’t even knew about the hacking. He told that the Planned Parenthood servers are well-secured and have flagging enabled too.
“We think we have really good security, especially on flagging suspicious behaviour. We have not [received any flags].”
Mr. Subak declined to comment further on the hacking attempt.
The website also received a statement via email from Dwan Leagues, Executive Vice President of the Planned Parenthood, claiming that security of their databases and servers are at the highest priority, and also added that the officials are inspecting the server breach.
“We’ve seen the claims around attempts to access our systems. We take security very seriously and are investigating. It’s unsurprising that those opposed to safe and legal abortion are participating in this campaign of harassment against us and our patients, and claiming to stoop to this new low.”
Exposing the Breached Data
The hackers group told that they have planned to decrypt the breached data and will soon publish the email conversations of the Planned Parenthood’s employees with their clients. So far, no email conversation has been exposed on the database dump. And there is no official statement from the hackers about their plans to release the conversations.
The website, on which the breached database was exposed by the hackers, also posted a statement regarding their motives:
“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.”
To hack into the Planned Parenthood’s servers, the hackers used an attack known as “Blind SQL,” which reportedly exploits hidden error message returned from a site database. This attack is called blind because the attacker isn’t required to get the error messages to accomplish the attack.
Official Confirmation of the Hacking Attempt
Vice President Dawn Laguens, over at Planned Parenthood has released a statement which confirms that the organization’s servers and databases were compromised.
Additionally, they have also notified about the cyber attack to FBI as well as the Department of Justice to further investigate about the breach of the confidential data, and also to take actions against the hackers who are threatening safety and privacy of organization’s employees.
Here is the complete statement:
“Today Planned Parenthood has notified the Department of Justice and separately the FBI that extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services have launched an attack on our information systems, and have called on the world’s most sophisticated hackers to assist them in breaching our systems and threatening the privacy and safety of our staff members. We are working with top leaders in this field to manage these attacks. We treat matters of safety and security with the utmost importance, and are taking every measure possible to mitigate these criminal efforts to undermine our mission and services.
“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. 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.
“No matter what extremist acts those who oppose safe and legal abortion commit, the fact remains that women and men across America will still need access to basic, reproductive health care: life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment, well-woman exams, and yes, safe and legal abortion. As always, we will continue to provide that care, and serve the 2.7 million women, men and young people who rely on us each year.”
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