The Planned Parenthood centre in Los Angeles was hacked, breaching the sensitive data of more than 400,000 patients.
A hacker illegally accessed hundreds of thousands of patients’ personal information. The identity of the hacker is not yet known.
Planned Parenthood sent out letters on Nov. 30 to patients who were affected by the huge data breach, which accused data for patients between Oct. 9 and Oct. 17. The data contained the patients’ names, and one or more of additional pieces of information, including their diagnosis, procedure, prescription, or insurance.
The hack comes as the abortion debate has been ignited across the U.S. The Supreme Court heard this week arguments about a Mississippi abortion ban that blatantly goes against precedence set by Roe v. Wade as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In Texas, the state has practically banned all abortions by making it illegal to get one after six weeks, which is before almost all women know they’re even pregnant. They aren’t the only states to be getting ready to strip away abortion rights. If Mississippi’s abortion ban of 15 weeks is permitted by the Supreme Court to be upheld in the law, at least a dozen other states have “trigger laws” at the ready to bring in to curtail legal abortion access.
This is not the first major hack into a database in the U.S. this year. Another major ransomware attack included one that targeted one of the country’s largest fuel pipelines, Colonial Pipeline.
Hackers and cybercriminals have also targeted the computer systems of hospitals and health clinics, amounting to more than 100 reported cyber attacks on healthcare facilities in 2020.
The U.S. government has been striving to identify the source of funding for hacking operatives. Many of the ransomware operatives are based in Russia and Eastern Europe. Millions have been made off of extorting the companies.