Competitor-Run Defamation

Customer Problem

Facing an onslaught of hate blogs and fake complaints, this client was seeing an annual revenue decrease of 30%

  • Fake WordPress blogs being setup in the client’s name
  • Consumer review locations targeted with fake complaints
  • Brand events being hit with cyber trolls
  • Fake reviews being left of social media platforms

The client, within the insurance and investment industry, reached out to Massive Alliance as revenue forecasts were looking gloomy. With a 30% drop on gross earnings from the year before, it was predicted the company would be taking another hit this quarter. Over the previous 16 months the client had experienced a new and different enemy. Cloaked behind anonymous platforms and fake user ID’s was an onslaught of internet attacks and defamation, seemingly coming from current and past customers. In addition to this, the client was experience espionage and weekly digests of internal discussions, activities from executives and employees being published online.

Massives Solution

Detection and mitigation

The client engaged the services of massive’s reputation management and cyber intelligence divisions. Working simultaneously we formed a program to accomplished the following:

  • Investigate the sources of the online attacks through setting up of honeypots and engaging this “shadow enemy”.
  • Provide evidence of an identity behind the internet defamation.
  • Clean up all instances of fake reviews, hate blogs and video.

Outcome

After 3 months Massive Alliance had effectively engaged the enemy, tracing back the IP’s to a home address of a former employee. Upon further open source intelligence, we found a connection between the former employee and disgruntled ex-partner of the firm as well as a connection with firm’s current accountant.

All were working in tandem to remove the client as a competitor and proven financial records showed that the ex-partner was funding the operation, with promise of a stake in a newly established local competitor.

  • All forensic information was provided to the attorneys to file suit for damages.
  • Evidence of the fake and defamatory content was documented and sent to the search engines and social media outlets. Every page was removed and all accounts banned.
  • All adversaries identified and mapped.

Within 6 months the client saw revenue return to the range prior to the attacks.