Gold Dealer JM Bullion Discloses Months-Long Payment Card Breach


Texas-based precious metals dealer JM Bullion has informed some customers that their payment card information may have been stolen by cybercriminals, but the disclosure came months after the breach was discovered.

Founded in 2011, JM Bullion sells gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals, and it allows customers to pay with cryptocurrency. According to its website, the company reached 500,000 customers in March 2018 and it claims to ship over 30,000 orders per month.

The company claims on its website that customer information is kept secure through “256-bit SSL encryption” and that it does not have access to payment card information as it’s processed by a third party.

However, one JM Bullion customer revealed on Reddit over the weekend that they received a letter from the company informing them of a data security incident. The firm said it was alerted to suspicious activity on its website on July 6, when it launched an investigation with the help of third-party forensics experts.

The investigation found that someone hacked into JM Bullion’s website and planted malicious code that was present on the site between February 18 and July 17, 2020. The malicious code was apparently designed to harvest customer information entered on the website — this is known as a skimming or Magecart attack.

JM Bullion claims that the malicious code only captured information in “limited scenarios” when customers were making a purchase. The information stolen as part of this attack included names, addresses and payment card information, including card number, expiration date and security code.

“JM Bullion takes the security of personal information in its care very seriously. In response to this incident, JM Bullion notified law enforcement, our card processor, and the credit card brands, and continues to work with them as needed. We also reviewed our internal procedures and implemented additional safeguards on our website to protect customer information in our possession,” Michael Wittmeyer, CEO of JM Bullion, told customers.

Some customers who discussed the incident on Reddit seem disappointed that it took the company five months to discover the breach and another three months to alert impacted individuals. Others expressed concern that the exposure of physical addresses is serious as someone could use the information to target the homes of people who acquired precious metals.

SecurityWeek has reached out to JM Bullion for additional information and will update this article if the company responds.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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