Planned Parenthood has a lot of enemies, and now some are claiming they have hacked the reproductive health service, stealing emails, salted passwords, and employee information.
The Daily Dot talked to one of the people taking credit for the attack, someone using the pseudonym “E” who says they acted as part of a group that calls itself “3301.” According to E, the breach is political, and the group intends to publish what it stole.
“Trying to mold an atrocious monstrosity into socially acceptable behaviors is repulsive,” said E. “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.”
Planned Parenthood has always been controversial, but it’s particularly under fire recently. GOP presidential candidates are loudly pushing against Planned Parenthood, with Rand Paul calling to defund it. And after anti-choice activists released secretly-recorded videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing tissue donation, edited to make the organization look like it was selling fetal body parts, criticism of the organization is more intense than ever.
Planned Parenthood Chief Information Officer Tom Subak told the Daily Dot on Sunday night that the organization did not see any suspicious activity. I have contacted Planned Parenthood and I am waiting to hear back from them to confirm or deny the alleged hack. I’ll update as soon as I know more.
Update 11:46 am: ““We’ve seen the claims around attempts to access our systems. We take security very seriously and are investigating,” Subak told Gizmodo. “Once we have investigated, we may make future statements.”
Update 2:31 pm: Motherboard has a further interview with one of the alleged hackers, who says boredom fueled the infiltration as much as politics.
Update 4:25 pm: Planned Parenthood has confirmed that the hack took place and released a statement from executive vice president Dawn Laguens:
“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.”
Photo by AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki