March 11, 2012
Anonymous Member Pleads Guilty In Abortion Website Hacking
A 27-year-old British man who says he is affiliated with the international cybercrime group Anonymous has pleaded guilty to hacking into, defacing, and stealing records from the website of an abortion provider.
According to AFP reports, James Jeffery, a resident of Wednesbury, West Midlands, was arrested Friday after breaking into the website of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), swiping the records of approximately 10,000 women who had registered with the website, and replacing the organization's logo with the Anonymous symbol.
The Associated Press (AP) said that Jeffery appeared at a London court Saturday to admit two offenses under the Computer Misuse Act. He reportedly targeted the BPAS website because his sister had terminated her pregnancy, and he was upset with her decision. AFP reporters said that he later bragged about his actions on Twitter, and published the name and account information of one of the group's administrators.
UK newspaper the Telegraph reports Jeffery said that he had intended to release the information of the BPAS website members, including the contact details of some who had provided them to the organization.
"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," the Telegraph added.
"Officers who traced the BPAS breach to Jeffery's home found his computer 'in the process of being wiped clean','" they added. "They seized a number of items including an iPad, iPhone, three laptops, a hard drive and note book“¦ He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a later date."
Last week, members of Anonymous carried out a series of attacks in retaliation for the March 6 arrests of five LulzSec members as part of an international sting effort. The FBI was assisted in those arrests by former LulzSec leader Hector Xavier "Sabu" Monsegur, who was arrested in June 2011 and since then has been collaborating with law enforcement personnel to help bring down members of the hacking collective.
The ensuing attacks targeted antivirus software and Internet security firm Panda Security, who the group accused of helping police in the sting operations -- accusations that officials with the company have denied, and New York Ironworks, a law enforcement equipment supplier based in New York City.
Anonymous also released a batch of source code on Friday for Symantec's Norton AntiVirus 2006 software, along with a note demanding the release of the arrested hackers, according to a report by PCMag's Sara Yin. Symantec told BBC News that they had expected the move, and that current Norton users were not at risk.
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