Guntrader Suffer Data Breach as Customer Records are Published to Dark Web
Thousands of names and addresses belonging to customers of the firearms dealer Guntrader.uk have been published to the dark web following a cyber security incident.
Guntrader.uk learned about the extent of the breach on July 19, which has seen around 110,000 customer records stolen. The stolen data relates to people who own firearms, which creates a number of additional complications that extend beyond the immediate loss of privacy.
Jon Else, Director at Hayes Connor, said of the incident: “This is hugely worrying for anyone who is affected or thinks they might be affected. We’ve already had worried gun owners contacting us about this and their fears are genuine. If their details have fallen into the hands of organised criminals, then they’re now concerned that their families and their properties could be targeted.
“Owning a gun is a huge responsibility but so too is keeping the data of gun owners safe and this is an incredibly serious data breach indeed. Guntrader.uk now needs to make sure it works closely with the relevant authorities.
“First and foremost, they need to make every single person who’s been affected aware that their data has been breached so they can ensure their own personal security. Then, they need to help the authorities in any other way possible. Clearly this couldn’t have happened and the questions as to how it has happened will rightly have to be answered. But the people affected and their safety must come first here.”
More than 50 owners have already contacted law firm Hayes Connor for support since the news first broke that the details of more than 110,000 gun owners had been accessed illegally through the data breach at website Guntrader.co.uk.
The breach has since seen home addresses postcodes, phone numbers, email and IP addresses shared by an animal rights activist, who urged followers to contact as many of the 110,000 people as possible to ‘ask if they are involved in shooting animals.’
Jon Else added: “This latest development just adds further to the worry that gun owners across the country have experienced since the news first emerged about this data breach several weeks ago.
“The owners we’ve been speaking to have had very genuine fears for their safety before this latest step so this will increase those fears even further. They will now be concerned that their homes and their families could be targeted by more extreme activists and will have to review their security measures again.
“We know that local police have been contacting owners with practical security advice and we’d hope anyone affected by this follows that guidance immediately but yet again, this shows the impact that inadequate data security can have on innocent people – in this case, 110,000 people who’ll be affected by this.”
Following the news of the breach, The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has urged for its members to be vigilant around home security.
Guntrader.uk have reported the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). An investigation into the matter is currently being carried out by the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SWRCCU), with assistance from the National Crime Agency (NCA).
If you have been contacted by Guntader.uk to inform you that your data has been exposed in the breach, or you have strong reason to believe that your data has been compromised, then you will likely have grounds to claim compensation.
The team at Hayes Connor are ready to advise anyone who has been affected by the Guntrader.uk data breach. To find out more about how you can make a claim, please get in touch.
What Happened in the Guntrader data breach?
In the Gun trader data breach, the firearms dealer's database was accessed by an unauthorised third party. The database contained the details of around 110,000 users registered between 2016 and 2021. The database in question was then published on to the dark web, compromising the safety and security of affected individuals.
Guntrader responded to the breach by sending out an urgent notice to their users, as well as reaching to various authorities, including the ICO and NCA.
What information was stolen in the Guntrader data breach?
The database which was published online in the Gun trader data breach is said to include names, mobile phone numbers, email addresses and user’s geolocation data. Logs of payments were also said to have been included in the guntrader data breach, but this did not reportedly extend to credit card information.
Why does the Gun trader data breach pose additional concerns?
Beyond the immediate loss of privacy, the Gun trader data breach also poses a number of additional safety concerns for anyone who was affected.
Gun ownership is tightly controlled in the UK, making firearms very difficult to acquire and very valuable on the black market. If criminals are able to access the data relating to users who own a gun, there is a increased risk that they will be targeted.
What to do if you are concerned about the Guntrader data breach
If you were one of the customers whose data was exposed in the Guntrader.uk data breach, you should have already been contacted to inform you that this is the case. However, if you have not been contacted and you have reason to believe that your data has been breached, you should contact guntrader.uk as soon as possible.
As suggested by BASC, you should be extremely vigilant of any unexpected communications, such as emails or text messages, particularly if they appear to come from someone claiming to represent Guntrader.uk. These could be ‘phishing’ attacks which are designed to extract further information from you.
There are various ways you can reduce the risk of cybercriminals using your personal data against you. For more, please read our helpful guide on what to do if your data has been stolen in a data breach.
If your data was exposed in the Guntrader.uk data breach, you may be in a position to claim compensation. This is something the team at Hayes Connor can help you with.
How Hayes Connor can help you claim compensation for the Guntrader data breach
Organisations which store your personal data are legally obligated to keep it secure and out of the hands of unauthorised third parties. This means that, if data is exposed, anyone affected may be in a position to make a compensation claim.
Hayes Connor has one of the largest teams of dedicated data breach specialists in the country, with a wealth of combined expertise when it comes to handling compensation claims. This means we can carefully guide you through every step you need to take when bringing forward a claim if your data has been exposed.
We can discuss your personal situation in detail and help to clarify whether you are owed compensation, how much you could be entitled to and how the general claims process works. We understand how stressful and worrying it can be to lose your personal data, which is why we also make sure to provide you with close personal support during the claims process, as well as making sure everything is kept as straightforward as possible.
You can find out more about our expertise and how we handle data breach claims here.
To start a claim, you can use our online claim form.
To speak to a member of our team about the Guntrader.uk data breach, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0151 363 5895.