Anonymous Member James Jeffery Admits Abortion Provider Website Hack
A member of hacking group Anonymous broke into the website of Britain's biggest abortion provider because he "disagreed" with his sister's choice to terminate her pregnancy, a court heard today.
James Jeffery, 27, stole around 10,000 database records containing the personal details of vulnerable women who had registered with the site before "boasting" of his crime on Twitter.
London's Westminster Magistrates' Court heard the "able" hacker had also identified "vulnerabilities" on a string of websites including those for the FBI, the CIA and the Houses of Parliament.
Jeffery, of Castle Street, Wednesbury, West Midlands, showed no emotion as he appeared in the dock this morning to admit two offences under the Computer Misuse Act.
The court was told how Jeffery, who was arrested in a police swoop on his home during the early hours of yesterday, intended to "release all the details" of those registered on the BPAS site.
Earlier he had taken to Twitter, under the name Pablo Escobar, to prove he had accessed hundreds of user names and email addresses.
This involved him printing the name and log on details of a BPAS administrator.
At the same time, he also managed to deface the BPAS website with the Anonymous logo and a statement.
He later confessed to his crimes during interviews with detectives.
"He said a sister and a close friend had had an abortion which he disagreed with," the court was told.
Jeffery was held after the company contacted police to say it had been targeted by a cyber criminal.
The firm believes its computer servers and website were targeted on 26,000 separate occasions over a six-hour period.
The dark-haired defendant, wearing a black jacket and jeans, remained impassive as the court heard how he targeted a site used by victims of domestic violence who seek advice on how to deal with unwanted pregnancies.
The "vulnerabilities" of these individuals was "quite a concern" for the charity, prosecutors said.
"Mr Jeffery indicated on Twitter that he had hacked into the site and that he had the contact details of those women whose contact details had been registered, who were seeking assistance from the service," Christine Athanasius said.
"In order to prove that he did in fact have those details, he posted on Twitter, which is a publicly accessible site, the contact details of (BPAS administrator)Miss C Murphy.
"Those log-on details, her being the administrator, allow full access to the database and the website."
Meanwhile, the message left on the BPAS site was "quite clear" with regard to the hacker's own feelings for the organisation, she said.
The court was told how police were investigating further alleged hacking by Jeffery, involving websites for the FBI, CIA, West Midlands police, the Houses of Parliament, the US navy, Arizona police and Spanish police.
Officers who traced the BPAS breach to Jeffery's home found his computer "in the process of being wiped clean".
They seized a number of items including an iPad, iPhone, three lap-tops, a hard drive and note book.