Names and addresses of 111,000 UK gun owners leaked by animal rights activists


The National Crime Agency is investing the data breach (Picture: Shutterstock)

An investigation has been launched after a map claiming to show the addresses of thousands of firearms owners in the UK was leaked online.

Website Guntrader announced a huge data breach affecting more than 100,000 customers in July.

This week, reports emerged that the information was published by an animal rights blog that told followers to ‘contact as many [owners] as you can in your area and ask them if they are involved in shooting animals’.

According to tech website The Register, the activists reformatted the data so that  it could be easily imported into mapping software to show individual homes.

They are said to have explicitly advertised the data as being importable into Google Earth, making it easier to pinpoint around 111,000 domestic locations where fire arms might be stored.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), which has been investigating the data breach, said it ‘is aware that information has been published online as a result of a recent data breach which impacted Guntrader’.

The statement added: ‘We are working closely with the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit, who are leading the criminal investigation, to support the organisation and manage any risk.’

An investigation has been launched after a map claiming to show the addresses of thousands of firearms owners in the UK was leaked online

After the data was first leaked in July, gun owners said they were worried their homes could be targeted by criminals.

At the time, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation urged its members to ‘be vigilant around home security’.

Guntrader’s website says that it holds a ‘full electronic gun and ammunition register’ touting as it as the ‘most safe and secure gun register system on todays’ market’.

In its initial statement in July, the company said that no information about the ‘location of firearms was taken’, but acknowledged that user names and addresses had been.

The firearms website told the BBC it had nothing to add in response to the latest development ‘beyond saying that we continue to work with the relevant authorities to mitigate the impact of this data theft’.

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