Monday, March 12, 2012

'Anonymous' abortion service hacker pleads guilty


A West Midlands man who hacked into and defaced the website of the UK's largest abortion service has pleaded guilty to two offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

James Jeffery, who used the handle 'Pablo Escobar', hacked the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) on Thursday. He defaced the front page with an anti-abortion message and the Anonymous logo, and took details of people who had visited the site looking for advice.

The defaced BPAS website, shown in an image uploaded by the hacker
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday — one count related to hacking the BPAS web server, and the other to taking the personal data from a contacts database.

According to a report in The Guardian, Jeffery took around 10,000 records of women who had registered with the site. He had boasted on Twitter that he would publish the records, but told the court that he changed his mind as doing so would be "wrong".

It appears the records included names and email addresses, but BPAS said that the identity of women receiving treatment remained safe.

Jeffery also identified vulnerabilities in the websites of the FBI, CIA and houses of parliament, the report stated.

The hacker claimed affiliation with Anonymous, but there has so far been no suggestion that anyone else from the collective had anything to do with the BPAS hack.

Jeffery will be sentenced at a later date.

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