In a serious security breach, activists leaked the addresses of 111,000 UK gun owners online.
After the addresses of more than 111,000 lawful gun owners were published online, criminals may begin targeting their houses.
Last month, the names, home addresses, postcodes, phone numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses of animal rights activists were published on a blog. The campaigners advised the public to “contact as many [owners]as you can in your region and ask them whether they are participating in shooting animals” after the data was hacked from the Gumtree-style Guntrader website and shared online.
While the data was hacked in order to deter people from participating in bloodsports, there are concerns that it could slip into the hands of criminals wanting to have a leg up.
Even more concerning is the fact that the data included a Google Earth-compatible file with grid references for UK gun owners in the six figures.
Other gun owners are concerned that, even though the website’s location is outdated, criminals may target current residents who believe they have firearms.
There are also concerns that lone wolves like Jake Davison could use the information to obtain lethal weapons and go on shooting sprees.
Davison shot and killed five people in Plymouth earlier this month before turning the pistol on himself.
While his shotgun was owned legally, there are concerns that extremists could utilize the information to get comparable weapons.
Domestic houses are less likely to be targeted than central armouries, which hold significantly more weapons, frequently of higher potency, according to British legislation on firearms ownership.
Depending on the number and type of guns, security measures are proportionately increased, but security is mostly based on obscurity.
About 20% of the country’s registered owners have their rights taken away as a result of this breach.
While his identity was in the stolen data, one concerned shooter told industry publication The Register that the geolocation information pointed to his parents’ house rather than his own.
The industrial estate of a registered guns dealer who first balked at being included “since I don’t have signs outside” could be traced back to his warehouse.
The exact unit number might be found by Googling his name.
“We are aware of a potential change in the Guntrader Ltd incident and we will be making enquiries,” the Information Commissioner’s Office told the Register.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” The British Association.