Google takes down map showing homes of 111,000 Guntrader customers

Recently hacked data was linked to Google Maps by animal rights activists

A person unloading a hunting shotgun

Google has removed a CSV file linked to a Google Earth map that animal rights activists were using to show the exact locations of Guntrader customers’ homes.

The popular firearms marketplace site suffered a breach on its systems in July, with hackers managing to obtain 111,295 customer records and publish them to the dark web.

The hack prompted concerns that gun owners could become the target of thieves looking to secure firearms, with Guntrader customers being told to improve their home security.

Although it was thought that the gun ownership information and the location of where the firearms are stored weren’t included in the stolen data, evidence now shows that the hackers obtained names, home addresses, postcodes, phone numbers, email addresses, and IP addresses, as well as precise geographic coordinates.

All this information was found to be included in a Google Drive-hosted CSV file, which was made available via a Google Earth map posted on an animal rights blog, encouraging people to "contact as many [gun owners] as you can in your area and ask them if they are involved in shooting animals”.

What is more, due to the leak containing data from up to five years ago, it’s feared that people who had recently moved into a house formerly belonging to a gun owner could be wrongly targeted.

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It isn’t known whether the animal rights activist was behind the original breach, or whether they simply obtained the data from the dark web following its publication in July.

The National Crime Agency, which has been investigating the data breach since it was first reported in July, told IT Pro that it “is aware that information has been published online as a result of a recent data breach which impacted Guntrader”.

“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,” a spokesperson for the NCA added.

Google and Guntrader weren’t immediately available for comment.

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