Following a breach of Guntrader.uk, a website that leads in buying and selling of guns in the UK, it is understood that thousands of customers have had their names and addresses exposed. As a result of the Guntrader data breach, those who used the site may have reportedly had their personal information posted to the dark web.
The breach is particularly concerning given the safety risks of making the identities and potential whereabouts of gun owners known to potential criminals. As investigations continue, it is not yet clear how the data theft was allowed to occur. However, if it is found that Guntrader bears responsibility for the information exposure, it could be held liable for a breach of data protection law.
If you have been affected by the Guntrader data breach, we recommend that you come forward to seek legal advice, as there may be grounds for a compensation claim. It is always distressing to learn that your private information could be circulating in the public domain, so it is vital that any responsible parties are held accountable for the harm caused.
It has recently been confirmed that a former Hampshire police officer has been reportedly banned from ever entering the police service again after it was found that he accessed private records without a valid policing reason. The Special Constable in question is understood to have resigned from his position before superiors could dismiss him for his data snooping.
While police officers are granted information access to records and details that are needed for casework, they are not authorised to view or use information outside of their policing workload without any good reason. Campbell violated his professional duty by accessing information without a legitimate reason, reportedly only browsing the records due to “curiosity”.
Regardless of the motives of the Hampshire police officer, there is no excuse for breaching data protection law. We trust the police service to maintain strict control over personal information, so it is important that any officers who breach the duty they owe to the public are held accountable for their actions.
In many cases, data protection breaches arise as a result of human error. A CybSafe analysis of data breaches reported to the ICO found that 90% of UK data breaches in 2019 were caused by user mistakes. The employees responsible for cybersecurity would, therefore, seem to be failing to adhere to data protection law, but there is much more to it than that.
Despite the high incidence of human error, it is employers who bear the ultimate responsibility for upholding data protection at their companies. This can mean that, when a data breach occurs, organisations may be liable to pay compensation. If you have been affected by a data breach caused by an employee, you can still have every right to make a claim and recover compensation from the organisation as a whole.
In February last year, it was revealed that Redcar and Cleveland Council had fallen prey to a cyber-attack, bringing many of its online resident services to a standstill for a prolonged period of time. Although systems were eventually repaired and services reinstated, the effects of the cyberattack are still being felt now, over a year after the attack, primarily in the huge financial toll it took on the council.
In fact, the government has been set to intervene to help the council with the funding, after millions of pounds were expended on the effort of rebuilding its systems. The prolonged recovery work raises questions about whether Redcar and Cleveland Council’s systems should have been stronger in order to defend against the attack in the first place, and whether the council had an attack response plan in place before they were hit.
This all shows how costly an attack can be, and why it is always so much better to take preventative action instead of an event taking place.
Around two years ago, the Police Federation of England and Wales was hit by a cyberattack, and we began taking claims forward soon after the data breach incident occurred. Although it was initially believed that no personal information affected, it was nevertheless a possibility that employee data may have been exposed to unauthorised access.
The case against the Police Federation is one of many data breach group actions we are pursuing. As leading specialists in data breach claims, we are fighting for justice in a number of high-profile actions, including those against Equifax, Virgin Media and British Airways.
As with all our data breach group actions, we are offering No Win, No Fee representation to eligible victims of the Police Federation data breach. You can contact us today if you are considering starting a claim.
We have been approached for help following the Accident Exchange – AX data breach – which is understood to have occurred earlier this year in January. The company is said to have suffered a cyberattack which led to the exposure of client information, with an external third-party accessing the company’s systems.
Those affected by the breach have recently been notified by AX (formerly Accident Exchange) that their personal information might have been affected, though it is still unclear exactly what details may have been exposed in all cases.
We have already begun taking on claims for those affected, who could be in line to receive compensation for the exposure of their private data. All companies are legally obliged to protect the data in their possession and, when they fail to do so, they can be liable to pay damages for a breach of data protection law.
NHS CCTV cameras have reportedly been embroiled in a hack affecting security footage across the globe, after security company Verkada is understood to have been breached by hackers. It is said that live streams for as many as 150,000 Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras may have been viewed by unauthorised users.
Serving organisations include prisons, general businesses, schools and even psychiatric hospitals. The breach of Verkada’s cameras may have exposed the identities of many people working in, living in, or visiting affected institutions.
It is unclear exactly which feeds hackers may have viewed and what they gleaned from the footage, but it is nevertheless worrying to learn that a security firm has been subjected to such a wide-reaching breach. There is currently no evidence that any NHS camera feeds were viewed by hackers, but Verkada lists the NHS as one of its clients on the company website. Hackers have also claimed that they have been able to access the cameras of any of the affected organisations.
Recent coverage has revealed that action taken by bank employees and police prevented some £45m of fraud in 2020, saving customers from the loss of an average of almost £6,000 each. The figure is a testament to the success of the Banking Protocol scheme that encourages banks and the police to work together to protect consumers.
However, the huge £45m sum is also a sign of the scale of fraud in the UK. As leading, specialists in data protection law, we believe that the link between data breaches and fraud is a problem that needs to be addressed. When a third-party organisation fails to protect your personal information, it may be leaked into the hands of cybercriminals, who may attempt to steal from you via various kinds of manipulative scams.
We believe that it is essential that all data controllers are held to account when they fail to observe their legal duties. We have helped thousands of consumers to recover the compensation that they deserve, so we encourage any data breach victims to come forward for free, no-obligation advice on their potential claims.
In June 2018, it was revealed that survey company Typeform had suffered a data breach. The company reportedly became aware of the issue on 27th June, identifying that an attack had led to hackers downloading what was described to be a “partial backup” of its customer data. When we learned of the breach, we offered advice to those affected, and victims may still be able to make a Typeform data breach claim as part of the action that we are pursuing.
In accordance with UK data protection law, all those who disclose their information to third parties have a right to the protection of their personal information. Typeform’s customers, therefore, justifiably expected that they could trust Typeform with their data. Unfortunately, instead, some were greeted with the news that their information had been exposed.
As leading specialists in data breach claims, Your Lawyers (t/a The Data Leak Lawyers) helps those affected by data exposure to claim the compensation that they deserve. Although three years have passed since the Typeform data breach was revealed, more victims may still have a chance to make a claim, so contact our team for more advice if you were affected. We are already helping others on a No Win, No Fee basis.
As a standard recommendation of IT professionals and security specialists, many of us will be aware that it is advisable to use a range of passwords, but we believe that the importance of this advice cannot be understated. Many studies have shown that people continue to risk their data security by reusing passwords across their online accounts, and this is dangerous.
There is now a whole subsection of cybercrime built around the theft and misuse of account credentials, so it is vital that consumers do not put themselves at greater risk by reusing passwords.
Personal information is a highly valuable resource to cybercriminals, and passwords can be particularly profitable, given that they can sometimes unlock private accounts containing further personal information. A password is meant to be a key form of protection, so why are we compromising this security technique by reusing passwords?