Thousands of names and addresses belonging to UK customers of a leading website for buying and selling shotguns and rifles have been posted to the dark web as a result of a “security breach “.
Guntrader.uk told the BBC it learned of the breach on Monday and informed the Information Commissioner’s office.
Police, including the National Crime Agency, are investigating.
A concerned gun owner said he feared the violation could lead his family to be targeted by criminals.
Ownership of guns is tightly controlled in the UK, making guns difficult to acquire and potentially valuable on the black market.
The individual, who declined to be named, told the BBC that the breach “seriously compromises my safety arrangements for my firearms and puts me in a situation where my family and I could be caught. target and endangered ”.
Guntrader.uk said around 100,000 customer records were stolen, but “no information relating to gun ownership or the location of guns has been collected.”
Nonetheless, the stolen data will include many people who own firearms, and shooting organizations urge caution.
The British Shooting and Conservation Association (BASC) urges its members “to be vigilant about home security” following the breach.
In a statement posted on its website, it said personal data had been listed on “a hacker website”.
“Our advice to members would be to check the security of the house and be extremely vigilant. Make sure all firearms are properly locked and buildings are secure,” he wrote.
The investigation into the violation is being carried out by the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit (SWRCCU).
He is assisted by the National Crime Agency who told the BBC: “We are working closely with the organization [guntrader] and the SWRCCU to better understand the incident and manage any potential impact. “
Police reiterated safety advice to owners of shotguns and urged them to report any suspicious activity.
BASC told the BBC that gun laws require firearms to be securely locked away when not in use, adding that the majority of police forces will check your security arrangements before granting a firearms certificate.
Simon Baseley of Guntrader told the BBC he has advised users to be vigilant and is working closely with relevant agencies to mitigate the impact.
He said it was the first time in 20 years that an attempt to bypass company security was successful.
“All indications presently indicate that the violation was neither political nor commercial as there was no attempt to extort money from guntrader.uk or its users, or to derive other capital from the theft. “, he added.