Image Credit: Discover Magazine
A website that allows people to buy and sell guns was breached by hackers, who gained access to some of the users’ personal information. The information was stolen from the website GunAuction.com, which has provided users with the ability to sell firearms online since 1998.
More than 550,000 users’ full names, residential addresses, email addresses, plaintext passwords, and phone numbers were among the masses of sensitive personal information that were exposed because of the breach. Additionally, it is claimed that the stolen data makes it possible to connect a specific person to the sale or purchase of a particular weapon.
A security researcher, who requested anonymity, found the server at the end of last year. It turned out that the server was being used by a hacker (or group of hackers) who was storing the stolen data there. The server had no security measures in place to restrict or manage who could access it, so the researcher had to download and analyze the data.
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A portion of the stolen data was examined by TechCrunch, which also contacted 60 people by phone and sent emails to 100 other people. 10 of them attested to the veracity of the data in the stolen database. However, it is unclear how recent the data is given that our message bounced back or was unable to be delivered to 25 email addresses, and several phone numbers were also disconnected.
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Sensitive information about gun owners has previously been made public. According to Gizmodo, the California Department of Justice accidentally released personal information about gun owners last year, including their names, birthdays, addresses, ages, the date of purchase, and the type of firearm permit they held, as well as their Criminal Identification Index numbers, which are used to track state and federal criminal records.