Planned Parenthood calls on FBI in alleged employee data hack
Tue 28 Jul 2015
Healthcare provider Planned Parenthood has notified the FBI and Department of Justice of an alleged data breach that could compromise the ‘privacy and safety of staff members.’
Company representatives on Monday revealed that hackers were attacking Planned Parenthood IT systems in an attempt to gain unauthorised access to its employee database and leak the personal data of its staff.
“Planned Parenthood is the most trusted women’s healthcare provider in this country, and anti-abortion extremists are willing to do anything to stop women from accessing the reproductive healthcare they are seeking,” said executive VP at Planned Parenthood America, Dawn Laguens.
“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,” she continued.
In a “new low” for anti-abortion activists, Laguens added that the hackers had reportedly “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.”
It was confirmed on Monday afternoon that the company is still investigating the claims, and “working with top leaders in the field” to manage the attacks – “We are taking every measure possible to mitigate these criminal efforts.”
Planned Parenthood has declined to offer further details on how and where the attack occurred. A hacker group named ‘3301’ (referencing the cryptic online puzzle) has claimed responsibility for the breach – the claim remains unconfirmed.
The malicious hacks come as the company battles controversy after videos were released of its employees negotiating the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has argued that the videos have been edited, calling them a “smear campaign” by “militant antiabortion activists.”