How we used hacktivists to uncover & solve a major data breach
vpnMentor is a VPN comparison site, demystifying the world of VPNs through honest reviews and clear, digestible guides about VPNs and web security. Find out how we worked on breaking a major data breach to the world's media.
pieces of coverage
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, after alerting the company to resolve the problem vpnMentor tasked us with the challenge of outreaching their 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 – and still counting. 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 PR story. 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 in order to resolve any consumer risk, meant that all avenues were covered before any outreach began, and the story was a huge success.