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UK gun-owners’ addresses leak online

As always, the more data you hand over, the more likely it is to leak.

In the latest development in the Guntrader breach, we now have a Google Earth-compatible .csv file leaked on the internet, mapping the locations of all UK gun owners whose data was leaked through the breach. The data breach provides clear details of domestic homes of various gun owners while showing them as firearm storage locations.

Guntrader is a popular one-stop-shop for buying a range of firearms, including shotguns, rifles, air rifles, and other shooting equipment. Users registered on the platform between the years 2016 and 2021 have all been victims of the data breach. Names, phone numbers, email addresses, and geolocation data have all been exposed.

Guntrader users’ database was dumped onto an animal rights activist’s blog last week. During the time of the data breach, it was mentioned on the blog that the database containing gun owners’ information could also be imported to Google Earth for contacting “as many [gun owners] as you can in your area” to find out “if they are involved in shooting animals.”

The file containing sensitive private information of 111,295 British firearm owners was published onto a clearnet site that is hosted out of Iceland. The Guntrader breach not only jeopardizes the individuals who are listed in the database but also the ones who may have moved into the addresses where these gun owners may have previously lived.

Guntrader said that it was investigating the data breach and asked its users to change their passwords. After the leak, several users have been wondering as to why Guntrader stored location coordinates of its customers with an accuracy of up to six decimal points.

The National Crime Agency as well as the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit are currently investigating. The Guntrader leak may be covered by section 58 of Terrorism Act 2000. According to the said law, collating “information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism” is deemed a crime with a sentence of up to 15 years.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said that it was concerned with the latest developments. “We have flagged those concerns to the National Crime Agency. In the meantime, we advise the shooting community to maintain vigilance around security and report any concerns to the police,” said BASC.

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