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How We Used Hacktivists To Uncover and Solve a Major Data Breach

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VPN Mentor engaged Kaizen to amplify their findings having uncovered a major data breach at Canada’s largest mobile network provider. We got to work securing strong, relevant coverage across Canadian and international news outlets and tech publications.

The Brief

vpnMentor work with a network of white hat hackers, seeking out vulnerabilities in major services and companies and letting them know so that they can solve the problem before someone with the wrong intentions finds the vulnerability.

When they uncovered a major data breach within Canada’s biggest mobile network provider, exposing the personal data, credit card numbers, and CVVs of a potential 1.5 million customers, vpnMentor came to us to help break the news.

Once the company was altered to resolve the problem, our team were presented the challenge of outreaching vpnMentor’s findings to major Canadian and international press.


Operating as a press office, Kaizen landed 34 pieces of coverage in just two days, with 135 follow links and 184 pieces of coverage earned for the piece in total.

The average domain rating of 43 across this coverage is a testament to the quality of the sites that picked up the story, with major news outlets across Canada (CBC, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, CTV News & more), tech publications (ZDNet, Tech Crunch, IT World) and international news hubs (Huffington Post, Bloomberg, MSN, Yahoo) covering the news.

The number of potential customers affected and the fact that the piece was breaking news played a key role in the success of this campaign. With a story such as this one, it was also important to remain sensitive to the ethical issues that could have arisen. However, the way the finding was handled by vpnMentor, ensuring the company listened and responded to the problem to resolve any consumer risk, meant that all avenues were covered before any outreach began, and the story was a huge success.

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