Feeds

Database containing 1.8m UK postcode locations leaks online

Knock, knock. Who's there?

High performance access to file storage

An alleged copy of the UK postcode list has tipped up on WikiLeaks.

The whistleblower site claims to currently be hosting a database containing 1,841,177 Blighty postcodes “together with latitude and longitude, grid references, country, district, ward, NHS codes and regions, Ordnance Survey reference, and date of introduction”.

The list is a 241MB plain text file that runs to more than 100,000 pages and was last updated on 8 July. WikiLeaks has zipped the database up to 20MB and made it available for download via the site as well as providing a fast BitTorrent version of the file that can be grabbed over at The Pirate Bay.

According to the Guardian the Royal Mail made about £1.6m from licensing the Postcode Address File (PAF) database in 2007.

This leak online isn’t that significant, however, given that it doesn’t contain the names and/or addresses of houses in each postcode that the PAF holds.

On the other hand, online availability of the PAF could prove a big blow to the Royal Mail, which has repeatedly ignored requests from freedom of information campaigners to publish the postcode database free of charge.

The Register asked the Royal Mail to comment on the leak. A spokeswoman at the firm told us “yes, we do know about it” and added that it would have a statement for us soon.

Campaigners have long argued that the PAF should be freely available to help businesses create services around the taxpayer-funded data, and while this leak might get a few wannabe-web entrepreneurs mildly excited, the real juicy postcode stuff remains locked behind closed doors - for now. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.