Zero Hedge
0
All posts from Zero Hedge
Zero Hedge in Zero Hedge,

Did Planned Parenthood Just "Hack" Its Own Website As A Publicity Stunt?

Three days ago, when we reported on an alleged DDOS attack by a disgruntled, New York-hating hacker which took down and kept the website of NY Magazine offline for over half a day, we asked rhetorically if we won't see more such episodes used however as a publicity stunt with the explicit blessing of the "target":

" ...perhaps getting hacked is becoming a good marketing campaign: three weeks ago the market was shocked when the NYSE went offline for a record 4 hours, with speculation this may be due to a Chinese hack attack, before it was revealed that an incompetent software update was the culprit, and that virtually nobody trades on the NYSE anyway.

 

For today's struggling media, this may be an easy way to generate if not clicks (after all the site is down in the period in question), then at least publicity.  And how soon until we read about the first case of that "black hats" being quietly retained by the targets of their hacking exploits, to result in a win-win outcome for all involved?"

It appears we may have been not too far off the mark, as allegations surfaced overnight that a prominent entity may have fabricated just such a "hacking" of its own website for media publicity and unknown ulterior motives.

Only it was not a media company as we mused, but the pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood, which over the past several weeks has been embroiled in a scandal emanating from several videos showing executives discussing how the organization provides fetal organs to researchers, and describe the harvesting and sale of aborted fetal body parts, which two weeks ago

. A fourth video in the series was released earlier today.

As Sean Davis of the Federalist reports, Planned Parenthood claims on several of its websites that the organization’s web operations have been attacked by "extremists"  but this so-called hacking has all the hallmarks of an orchestrated public relations stunt. A cursory check of the website moments ago shows it stating that "Our normal site is currently undergoing maintenance."

What makes this hack unique, however, is that "numerous people on Twitter pointed to evidence suggesting that this so-called hack wasn’t a hack at all."

Their site is so hacked right now that someone has been rearranging CSS fonts and alignment. pic.twitter.com/7vxO4siXJH

— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze)

pic.twitter.com/OlVwLPlaxg

— Manny Garza (@Boldmanny316)

The Federalist further notes that a review of the source code of the main page that appears at PlannedParenthood.org shows that as of 9:30 a.m. today, the page is listed as a “Campaign” and uses a specific template named “Site Down Tempalte” (the typo is theirs). The same page then directs visitors to the Facebook page of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political fundraising arm of the nation’s largest abortion provider. The web page for PPAF–which can be accessed via both plannedparenthoodaction.org and ppaction.org–repeats the same hacking claims and contains the exact same source code and template used on the PlannedParenthood.org page."

And that’s where Planned Parenthood’s hacking facade begins to crumble. On the splash page declaring that the organization was hacked, visitors are asked “Why do you stand with Planned Parenthood” and invited to share their stories on a separate page housed at ppaction.org.

 

And wouldn’t you know it, that page functions perfectly. No sign of hacking. No sign of intrusion. Just a perfectly functional and secure web page that exists solely to build Planned Parenthood’s mailing list:

 

 

 

Even though ppaction.org redirects to a page saying the site was hacked, the domain still house a perfectly functional URL and page that are being actively used to help build Planned Parenthood’s fundraising list. Coincidentally, this “hacking” happened just days after Planned Parenthood decided to hire a PR firm, SKDKnickerbocker, to help manage its response to the widening baby organ trafficking scandal.

The article's conclusion: "Planned Parenthood says it’s been hacked by “extremists,” but a review of the publicly available evidence suggests that the only things being hacked at Planned Parenthood right now are perfectly healthy and viable unborn babies."

If confirmed that the anti-abortion group did indeed sabotage their own website (which they have every right to since it is their property) to achieve a certain media goal, one should inquire how else is Planned Parenthood eager to score empathy points with the public, and what other shortcuts may the foundation with an annual budget of $1 billion as recently as 2009, be taking?