[updated] Zone-H statement on security trainings offered by E2-labs.com

27/10/2009 Written by Roberto Preatoni

This is an offi­cial state­ment in which Zone​-​H​.org declares that has NOTH­ING TO DO with those hands on hack­ing classes offered by the Indian com­pany named e2-​labs (www​.e2​-labs​.com).

WE ARE SORRY TO SAY THAT ALL THOSE STU­DENTS WHO ATTENDED ZONE-​H LABELED COURSES OFFERED BY COM­PANY E2-​LABS IN THE LAST 24 MONTHS HAVE BEEN SCAMMED!!!

The facts:

Zone-​H and E2labs indeed entered into an agree­ment in year 2007 so that Zone-​H would have had to pro­vide first-​class secu­rity train­ing within the Indian ter­ri­tory. Right after enter­ing into the agree­ment, Mr. Zaki Qureshey the E2-​lab CEO orga­nized a sin­gle sem­i­nar ses­sion in which Zone-​H pro­vided train­ing to some of E2-​labs students.

Before enter­ing into the agree­ment, Zone-​H was warned by other renowned secu­rity pro­fes­sion­als who for­merly offered ser­vices to E2-​labs that such com­pany had the very bad habit not to pay for the ren­dered ser­vice and to mis­use the name and brands of those with whom was cooperating.

We had a taste of this when Mr. Qureshey orga­nized a press con­fer­ence in which was announc­ing our part­ner­ship dur­ing which, with­out being pre­vi­ously informed, we dis­cov­ered that behind the press-​release table it was dis­played a huge ban­ner with E2-​labs and Zone-​H logos (which was fine) but also those logos and names of Zone-​H part­ners (the list was sup­pos­edly taken from our web­site) that had noth­ing to do with E2-​labs nor with our agree­ment (one for all: inse​cure​.org).

click on the news title to con­tinue reading…

We got fur­ther taste of this when, despite we requested to be paid 15 days in advance, we had to start the train­ing ses­sions with­out see­ing a sin­gle cent. We had to threat E2-​labs to sus­pend the train­ings on the sec­ond day, in order to get finally paid.

Dur­ing our first (and only) batch of train­ing ses­sions we had to ask Mr. Qureshey to stop shoot­ing movies at our classes, it was already obvi­ous that his inten­tion was to copy-​cat our con­tents so to be able to offer train­ings by him­self, with­out hav­ing to pay us. Always dur­ing the same train­ing ses­sion and for the same rea­sons we refused to com­ply to Mr. Qureshey request to pro­vide him a copy of all the vir­tual machines of our hack­ing targets.

After that one and only train­ing ses­sion, we never came back to Hyder­abad and we never tought in any of his classes, despite count­less promises from his side that new train­ing ses­sions were to hap­pen soon.

Instead, in the last 2 years Mr. Zaki Qureshey kept post­ing our faces, logos and train­ing sched­ules on his web­sites, sell­ing Zone-​H labeled courses to stu­dents unwaware that Zone-​H had noth­ing to do with them. Despite sev­eral tele­phone calls dur­ing which we requested Mr. Qureshey to remove ref­er­ences to us from his web­site and to stop dis­trib­ut­ing unau­tho­rized copies of our train­ing mate­r­ial, today (Oct. 27th 2009, 3:00 GMT+1) our names, brand, logos and train­ing mate­r­ial are still appear­ing on E2-​labs web­site home­page as well as on other pages.

In this page there is again ref­er­ence to Zone-​H courses and at the end of the page there is, among the names of Zone-​H teach­ers, a guy named Eyal Dotan. We don’t know this guy, we have no idea why his name is appear­ing among those names of Zone-​H teach­ers and in Zone-​H sem­i­nar page. Mr. Eyal Dotan NEVER had any autho­riza­tion to run Zone-​H sem­i­nars. If any­body pur­chased from E2-​lab train­ing labeled Zone-​H and found this guy in the class­room, than they can con­sider them­selves unfor­tu­nate vic­tims of a scam. We have no idea whether Mr. Eyal Dotan was aware of this or not, we will inves­ti­gate further.

Beside, on the last two linked pages there are even faces and names of mem­bers of the Zone-​H teach­ing group who never set foot on the Indian territory.

In one of the last tele­phone calls (August 25th, 2009) as an aswer to our request to take off all the Zone-​H con­tents from his web­site, Mr. Qureshey played blue eyed and gave us the “I didn’t know, it’s the webmaster’s fault” silly com­edy. Nev­er­the­less, the con­tents are still there.

Up to a few months ago E2-​labs was even offer­ing Zone-​H courses (the course flier was a mere copy and paste of our train­ing mate­r­ial) in co-​branding with another famous secu­rity brand Asta­lav­ista, we won­der if they also knew about it, we are going to inves­ti­gate fur­ther as we never talked nei­ther with E2-​labs nor with Asta­lav­ista about such co-​branded possibility.

Since all the attempts we have done to con­vince Mr. Qureshey and com­pany E2-​labs to stop with such uneth­i­cal busi­ness prac­tices have failed, we have noth­ing left to do than post­ing this arti­cle and ini­ti­ate a court-​case against Mr. Qureshey’s and his com­pany E2-​labs.

It is also in our knowl­edge that other top secu­rity train­ers offer­ing other courses through E2-​labs, suf­fered the same prob­lems, but we leave to them the deci­sion whether to make it pub­lic or not.

MEAN­WHILE WE URGE ALL THOSE STU­DENTS WHO TOOK ZONE-​H LABELED SECU­RITY CLASSES FROM E2-​LABS IN THE LAST 24 MONTHS TO TAKE CON­TACT WITH US BY EMAIL­ING AT ADMIN @ ZONE​-​H​.ORG AS WE WANT TO EVAL­U­ATE HOW LARGE THE SCAM WAS AND WE WANT TO PUR­SUE ALL THE LEGAL POS­SI­BIL­I­TIES TO HAVE THEM (AND US) REFUNDED FOR THE FRAUD.

Excerpt from E2-​labs web­site hav­ing names and faces of unaware Zone-​H teach­ers, a few of them hav­ing never set foot in Hyder­abad nor in India

Excerpt from E2-​labs web­site offer­ing E2-​labs train­ing mate­r­ial (t-​shirts, cd and hacker comics). All labeled Zone-​H for which E2-​labs never had the repro­duc­tion permission

Excerpt from E2-​labs web­site show­ing a renowned secu­rity trainer (Fyo­dor Yarochkin, a very good friend of us, but not related to Zone-​H), labeled as 1st batch of Zone-​H cer­ti­fied Secu­rity Experts. We are sure Fyo­dor here was yet another unaware vic­tim of E2-​labs bad habit of mix­ing names and brands for its’ own benefits.

UPDATE: we are receiv­ing emails of the same stu­dents who par­tic­i­pated in the first batch of Zone-​H train­ing (three dis­tinct courses: Hands-​on-​Hacking, Web Appli­ca­tion and Wire­less Hack­ing) stat­ing that E2-​labs never gave them the par­tic­i­pa­tion cer­tifi­cates of the Hands-​on-​Hacking and Wire­less Hack­ing sem­i­nar. We signed all the cer­tifi­cates for all the stu­dents, but Mr. Qureshey even­tu­ally dis­trib­uted only one of the three cer­tifi­cates. We ask to the stu­dents to ask directly to Mr. Qureshey the rea­son why their cer­tifi­cates havent been distributed.

We have our own idea to explain that, but for the time being we pre­fer not to reveal any­thing and to keep investigating.


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