[updated] Zone-H statement on security trainings offered by E2-labs.com27/10/2009 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!!!
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: insecure.org).
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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.