In one of the most controversial moves in recent journalism history, Lower Hudson Journal News (lohud.com) posted a map of NY pistol permit owners in two counties. Apparently that wasn’t enough and they tried to obtain gun owner information for additional counties. Well, allegedly the lohud site was hacked and their entire user database has been dumped and publicly released.
After the school shooting in Connecticut, it would seem that lohud.com wanted to take the gun control issue into their own hands and publicly released three interactive Google maps with the names and addresses of LEGAL pistol permit owners in the Lower Hudson NY area. Just scrolling over the map would reveal permit owner’s names and addresses.
This sparked nationwide outrage as these were not criminals, but those who went through New York very strict procedures to legally obtain a NYS pistol permit.
“You have judges, policemen, retired policemen, FBI agents — they have permits. Once you allow the public to see where they live, that puts them in harm’s way,” said Rockland County Clerk Paul Piperato.
“Do you fools realize that you also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob that have no guns in them to protect themselves? What a bunch of liberal boobs you all are,” wrote Rob Seubert on the newspaper’s website.
In response, numerous bloggers have released the names, addresses, phone numbers and social media sites of several members of the Journal News editorial staff.
In a move that some see as hypocritical, the newspaper apparently hired gun toting armed guards to protect the Journal News office building after they received threatening e-mails.
Oddly enough, Journal News recently tried to obtain gun permit information for other counties, but were turned down by permit clerks.
Apparently, this seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as hacktivists allegedly hacked the lohud website and publicly dumped the newspaper’s entire database. A Pastebin post by the user “Guest” lists a sample of the dump and including links to download the entire list.
The dumped database seems to include over ten thousand user accounts, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and account credentials. Password hashes are also present, and it appears that some had already been cracked.
Account emails listed included numerous public e-mail addresses, but also many company addresses. This is really bad as users often use the same password on numerous sites. If you have an account at lohud.com, change your password now! And if you re-use your passwords make sure to change your passwords for all of your accounts.