- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Customers keeping Alex Jones and his Infowars brand in business may have had their payment data compromised by malware recently discovered on the right-wing media personality’s online store.

Malware capable of quietly skimming payment information was spotted on the Infowars online store Tuesday by Dutch security researcher Willem de Groot, tech site ZDNet first reported.

The malware was removed shortly after being brought to the site’s attention, though Mr. Jones said in a statement that as many as 1,600 customers may have been affected, ZDNet reported.

Described by Mr. de Groot as a “Magecart” infection, the malware worked by logging payment card details entered by Infowars customers and then sending that data to web server traced to Lithuania, ZDNET reported.

The malware was detected during a cursory search done by the researcher using a custom tool designed for scanning the internet for infected versions of Magento, a popular e-commerce platform, ZDNet reported.

Mr. Jones, 44, denied Infowars uses Magento, but nonetheless acknowledged the breach in a statement blaming “a concerted effort to de-platform Infowars by big tech, the communist Chinese and the Democratic party.”

“This criminal hack is an act of industrial and political sabotage,” Mr. Jones asserted.

Launched in 1999 by Mr. Jones, a right-wing conspiracy theorist and talk show host, Infowars and its founder gained notoriety in recent months after internet companies and social networking services including PayPal, Facebook and Twitter banned accounts connected to the either for various violations of internal policies prohibiting conduct ranging from harassment and intimidation, to allegedly promoting hatred and discriminatory intolerance.

Mr. Jones previously claimed that his operations generated more than $20 million in annual revenue, and a recent investigation by The New York Times concluded that most of his money gave from the sale of supplements and other products sold through his online store, the newspaper reported in September.

The malware spotted by Mr. de Groot was active on the Infowars store for less than 24 hours prior to being detected, he told ZDNet.

“Only 1600 customers may have been affected,” Mr. Jones responded. “Most of those were re-orders so their information would not be accessible. Nevertheless, our customer-supporter base is being contacted so they can watch for any unusual charges to their account and rectify them.”

Mr. de Groot previously spotted similar malware on the online store used by the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2016 elections.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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