Today the Scotland Yard arrested a 27-year-old who claims to have links to the hacktivist group, Anonymous, on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act. The Metropolitan police’s central e-crime unit was granted a search warrant for the suspect’s home in Wednesbury, West Midlands prior to making the arrest.
The culprit is accused of trying to break into the British Pregnancy Advisory Service’s (BPAS) website, extract information about women who had received abortions, and possibly release the names of the women.
According to BPAS, there were approximately 26,000 attempts to break into its website over a six hour period on Thursday. At this point BPAS has not confirmed that any medical or personal information of the women who had received treatment was accessed.
Police have stated that data on the website was compromised but explained that the stolen data did not contain any medical details of women who had received treatment.
The data that was stolen did contain personal information (names, addresses and phone numbers) from people who had inquired about resources and services from BPAS relating to contraception, pregnancy, abortion, STI testing and sterilisation.
Detective Inspector Mark Raymond from the Met’s e-crime unit said: “We have taken rapid action to identify and arrest a suspect involved in hacking. This was done to prevent personal details of people who had requested information from the BPAS website being made public. It should be stressed that the stolen data did not contain the medical details of women who had received treatment or why individuals had contacted the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.”
To prevent the publication of such data BPAS has been granted a court injunction and all proper legal channels are being employed to protect all potential and current patients’ information.
The suspect is currently in custody at a West Midlands police station.