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Firearm Auction Website Hacked, Gun Owners’ Data Stolen

Firearm Auction Website Hacked, Gun Owners’ Data Stolen

“Gun Auction Website Hack Exposes Sensitive Personal Data of 550,000 Users”

In recent news, TechCrunch has reported that a website that enables the purchase and sale of firearms has fallen victim to a data breach. 

Firearm Auction Website Hacked, Gun Owners' Data Stolen

Firearm Auction Website Hacked

The hackers have exposed personal data of more than 550,000 users, which includes full names, home addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, and plaintext passwords. 

Moreover, the stolen data can potentially be used to link a particular user with the sale or purchase of a specific firearm.

Troy Hunt, the cybersecurity expert and operator of the data breach repository and alerting service Have I BeenPwned, expressed his concern about the severity of the breach. 

Hunt warned that with this stolen data, hackers can take public listings and link them back to the stolen database to reveal sellers’ name, email, physical address, and phone number, which could eventually lead them to the gun’s location. 

The researcher who discovered the breach shared the data with Hunt so that he could upload it to Have I BeenPwned.

The incident happened at the end of last year when a security researcher, who wished to remain anonymous, found a server containing stolen data. 

The server was being used by a hacker or a group of hackers to store the data stolen from GunAuction.com, a website that has been enabling firearm auctions online since 1998. 

The researcher downloaded the data and analyzed it, finding that it contained sensitive personal information of GunAuction.com’s users.

The data breach at GunAuction.com raises concerns about the security of personal information on e-commerce websites, particularly those in the firearms industry. 

The website must take appropriate measures to safeguard users’ sensitive data to prevent such breaches in the future. 

As cyber attacks become increasingly frequent and sophisticated, website operators must remain vigilant and ensure the highest level of security for their users.

As per TechCrunch, they analyzed a sample of the stolen data, and reached out to 100 people via email and 60 via phone call. Of those, 10 people confirmed that the data contained in the stolen database was accurate. 

It’s unclear, however, how recent the data is, given that for 25 email addresses our message bounced back or could not be delivered, and several phone numbers were also disconnected.

As per Tech Crunch GunAuction.com CEO Manny DelaCruz confirmed the breach in an email.

“I can confirm that we were recently contacted by the FBI regarding the possibility of a data breach that has affected our company,” DelaCruz wrote in the statement. “The breach likely exposed personal customer information like names, addresses, and email addresses. However, we want to reassure our customers that we have no reason to believe that any financial information was accessed during the breach. We are advising our customers to remain vigilant and monitor their financial accounts and credit reports for any suspicious activity.”

DelaCruz added that “our intention is to inform affected users very soon.”

This is not the first time that sensitive data about gun owners has been exposed. Last year, California’s Department of Justice mistakenly leaked personal data, “including gun owners’ names, birthdays, addresses, ages, the purchase date and type of firearm permit they possessed, and their Criminal Identification Index numbers, which are used to track state and federal criminal records,” according to Gizmodo.

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