The worst fears of those caught up in the Guntrader hack have been realised after an anti-hunting website published an online clickable map of gun owners' home addresses and telephone numbers. Matt Cross reports for Shooting Times.
The website, which Shooting Times has been asked by authorities not to name, has in the past ‘doxxed’ those involved in hunting and the badger cull, publishing home addresses and phone numbers. However, the deliberate promotion of the information taken from Guntrader marks a huge escalation of its attacks on shooting.
Searchable map of gun owners
The banner across the top of the website claimed it had the details of 110,000 gun owners. The real number is likely to be lower as the database contains multiple entries for some individuals. However, Shooting Times has been able to estimate that the details of 80-90,000 firearms and shotgun owners are now publicly available and readily searchable.
The map, which uses Google Earth, a free and widely available platform, allows anyone to zoom in on ‘pins’ marking the location of a firearm or shotgun owner. The accuracy of the pins is variable, however many examples appear to be accurate to the street level and others unmistakably mark remote cottages and farms. Clicking on the pin then allows anyone to view personal details including the individual’s name, and in many cases their home postcode, home and mobile phone number; some entries include house names and numbers. (Read more here on gun security and the best gun safes. )
Shooting Times has checked a sample of this data and it is accurate. Among those whose homes and places of work are included on the map are several senior officers of fieldsports organisations and other individuals with public roles.
One individual who was caught up in the hack and whose complete home address is now on the map expressed his fury and frustration to Shooting Times. The man who we are not naming said: “The original hack was bad enough, however the thought that antis with rudimentary computer knowledge can access my phone numbers and email address and locate my family home is just horrifying.” (Read more about the Gun Trader website hack here.)
Advice remains that all firearm and shotgun owners should take care over home security, report concerns to the police and should not attempt to access the information for legal reasons and to limit the risk from malware such as viruses which may be hidden in it.