The non-profit healthcare organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America reported that the plannedparenthood.org website was hacked on Wednesday, slowing down internet traffic on the site. This is the second attack reported by the organization in the last two days. The attacks are believed to be in response to recent news concerning the group's sale of aborted fetuses.
The Planned Parenthood website receives about 200,000 visitors a day. People use the site to find information about birth control, reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion, parenting and more. While the site was offline Wednesday, web traffic was redirected to Planned Parenthood's Facebook page.
Hackers Flooded the Site with Too Much Data
The cyber attack caused the site to get flooded by a massive amount of incoming data. This served to slow the site down to the point of being inoperable by legitimate users, causing what is referred to in the internet technology world as a "Distributed Denial-of-Service" error.
Not long after the cyber attack, Planned Parenthood's website was functioning again, but out of extra precaution the organization chose to keep its webpage down for the rest of the day. The Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood made several statements to news media outlets saying that they wanted to make sure they were completely protected from additional attacks.
Planned Parenthood reported to the FBI immediately following the first attack on Tuesday, saying that "extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood's mission and services" attacked its website and information databases. According to one newspaper, in the first attack, hackers accessed the email addresses and names of Planned Parenthood employees.
The hacking organization that refers to itself as "social justice warriors" claimed responsibility for the security breach and said that they will soon be publishing Planned Parenthood's internal emails for all to see.
Attacks in Response to Alleged Aborted Fetal Tissue Sales
Planned Parenthood has faced a great deal of public scrutiny during the last few weeks because of two released videos showing people associated with Planned Parenthood allegedly trying to illegally sell aborted fetal tissues to medical researchers.
The organization, however, insists that
it has not broken any laws. It said that the providers of abortions have the right to raise funds related to fetal tissue donation costs. However, the group has asked for a blue-ribbon panel to investigate policies on fetal issue research.
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