Anti-abortion Anonymous hacker arrested in U.K.

After stealing tens of thousands of database records from an abortion provider, hacker James Jeffery is arrested, brought to court, and called a "zealot" and "able hacker" by the judge.

Shortly after hacking into Britain's biggest abortion provider's Web site and stealing 10,000 database records of women registered with the service, self-proclaimed member of Anonymous James Jeffery proudly touted his triumph on Twitter.

It was this misstep that quickly led to his arrest, court hearing, admission of guilt, and impending sentence, according to the Guardian.

It all started on Thursday when the British Pregnancy Advisory Service reported that there were 26,000 attempted break-ins to its Web site over a six-hour period. According to the Guardian, the site was also defaced with the Anonymous logo and a statement.

At the same time, under the Twitter username Pablo Escobar, Jeffery tweeted the name and log-on details of a BPAS administrator to prove he was able to pull off the heist.

BPAS provides abortions, pregnancy counseling, and advice on contraception. The organization said that despite Jeffery stealing tens of thousands of database records, he was unable to access medical or personal information of women who had received treatment there.

Shortly after the break-in, 27-year-old Jeffery was arrested and yesterday he was brought before the Westminster magistrates' court in London. There, the hacker admitted to two offenses under the Computer Misuse Act and claimed to be a member of the hacking group Anonymous.

Jeffery said the reason he hacked into BPAS's Web site was because he "disagreed" with the decisions of two women he knew over their pregnancy terminations, reports the Guardian. Originally he said he wanted to "release all the details" of those registered on the BPAS site but eventually decided against it because he thought that would be "wrong."

While on the stand, Jeffery also identified "vulnerabilities" in other Web sites for major security and legal organizations, including the FBI, CIA, and the houses of Parliament, according to the Guardian.

As the case was adjourned, Deputy Senior District Judge Daphne Wickham called Jeffery a "zealot with an anti-abortion campaign" and refused his application for bail. "Many, many other organizations and people's private details would be at risk," she said. "You clearly are an able hacker."

Jeffery will be sentenced at a later date.

This is the newest arrest in a recent sweep of hackers worldwide. At the end of February, Interpol arrested 25 suspected members of Anonymous in operations across Europe and South America. And just last week, six alleged members of Anonymous and other hacker groups LulzSec and Antisec were arrested by U.S. government agencies.

 

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