“The website of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) was hacked into and defaced for a period on 8th March, 2012 in what appeared to be a sophisticated cyber attack by an anti-abortion extremist. This incident appears to be the most extreme example of what is now a very concerning escalation in anti-abortion activity aimed at providers and the women who need their services.
“Around 26,000 attempts to break into our website were made over a six hour period, but the hacker was unable to access any medical or personal information relating to women who had received treatment at bpas. The website does store details (names, addresses and phone numbers) of people who have requested information from bpas via the website, including those making personal inquiries as well as health and education professionals, the media and students. These may have been inquiries relating to contraception, pregnancy, abortion, STI testing and sterilisation. Relevant authorities were informed and appropriate legal action taken to prevent the dissemination of any information obtained from the website.
“While the confidentiality of women receiving treatment was never in danger, this episode was taken very seriously indeed. A court injunction was obtained to prevent the publication of the data and, in the early hours of this morning an arrest was made"