Plagiarism Investigation

Date: 27/06/2021


A note to the Infosec community.

I have been following exchanges on social media and have investigated the complaints against EC-Council Blog. Our silence over these last few days was not because we were not listening. It’s because we knew that we needed to leave no stones unturned in our search for the truth. It had to be done correctly.

Our delay has been the result of the actions we’ve been taking to investigate problems, and to develop and begin to embark on steps that we hope will allow us to regain your trust.

Here is what we have learned:

  • I am extremely disappointed that our investigation revealed instances of plagiarism on the ECC marketing blog, for which we are deeply sorry. Our investigation has confirmed a lapse in our copy production SOP. Through a protracted series of missteps and mistakes, the marketing blog has opened the company to rightful criticism from the cybersecurity community that we have long strived to serve through certification courses, conferences, and publications.
  • We have also confirmed that the anti-plagiarism tools and processes that we use for our training products were not employed by our marketing department which produced the blog. To be clear and remove potential doubt, our course and certification product content is produced entirely separately from the marketing blog, by skilled technologists and product development teams who follow rigorous anti-plagiarism practices and tools as well as deep technical and language editing processes.

So, what am I doing about all this?

  • I take full responsibility, and offer my unreserved apology.
  • The EC-Council Blog shall no longer be under the purview of the marketing team.
  • The EC-Council Blog will remain offline until such time when a senior technology editorial team is in place who will own the creation of original, high quality content that is beneficial to our community.
  • We are recruiting an experienced editor of the highest journalistic standards and with institutional knowledge of technology and the issues facing this industry. We expect this editor to hold EC-Council to the highest ethical journalistic standards.
  • We will assemble an editorial advisory board to support and advise us on these standards.
  • We will work with our new editorial team to hire talented writers who offer expertise in core cybersecurity subject matters.
  • We are inviting and openly soliciting talent from diverse backgrounds to ensure that content is created by, relevant to and reflective of the full community.
  • To ensure that plagiarism will not happen again, we are transitioning our marketing content efforts to a Vlog that will feature informative interviews with talented members of our community.
  • To attempt all possible amends with those whose work had been misused, we ask that they contact us directly by emailing us at [email protected]
  • We plan to hold our new Blog editorial team, once established, to the rigorous standards you expect of us, and that we hold the rest of EC-Council to.
  • We have accepted the resignation of our senior-most marketing executive. We are no longer working with the contractors who misused others’ content.

I sincerely apologize to all affected by this. I take full responsibility for this and I am taking steps to make sure this never happens again.

Also and separately, we will soon announce the results of our diversity report based on the commitments we made to the community about 60 days ago, reflecting progress made. The report will have full details but I am pleased to tell you that we have met each goal and in some cases, we have exceeded objectives. I am proud of my team for these results.

Unfortunately, there has been clearly a multi-year history of EC-Council missteps. I take full responsibility and sincerely apologize for these previous mistakes.

We’re asking for your help; make us better for this community by being a part of our community. There’s certainly more we can do. We want to be better and do better, and we want your ideas and recommendations. Please — write to us at [email protected]

As a human, I will likely make more mistakes, but I don’t want to make the same mistake twice. Please know I am committed to doing what it takes to move forward positively, and to ask for and earn forgiveness from those wronged. And know that the EC-Council and I are committed to doing better.

Thank you for hearing me out.

Jay Bavisi

CEO


Date: 23/06/2021


EC-Council hosts an active Blog, publishing free articles and resources to help support and engage our members and communities at all levels. This includes aspiring information security professionals and seasoned experts across the world. This Blog is supported and maintained by many contributors including our members, volunteers, contractors, staff and SME’s who provide meaningful resources and perspective.
We have a process to ensure that such blogs have technical accuracy, language proficiency and most importantly are plagiarism free. Before any blogs are published, we run them by industry accepted, anti-plagiarism tools. We encourage our authors to research the topic to provide our readers with a crisp understanding of the subject and have policies to ensure originality.
Recently, a complaint was brought to our attention regarding an EC-Council Blog post that lacked the proper source citation and references by the author. EC-Council takes matters like this very seriously. As soon as the concern was brought to our attention, the Blog post was removed while a full investigation was initiated.

 

“There is No Place for Plagiarism in Our Society”

Although the Blog passed plagiarism checks which were done via industry tools, our internal investigation revealed that the article was aligned closely to another author’s article format and we made the decision to remove the article from the Blog indefinitely.

To our dismay, more complaints were brought to our attention regarding other posts on our site, all of which passed the plagiarism checks by industry accepted software (some of which have citations).
Out of an abundance of caution, we have pulled the entire EC-Council Blog site to allow a thorough investigation of each blog.
EC-Council strongly respects the intellectual property rights of authors, SME’s and thought leaders, and we pledge that any contributors to the EC-Council blog will be required to follow stricter protocols in order to be considered for publication, and all contributors will be required to attend mandatory formal training of our SOP’s to ensure that they provide proper citation and references.
We apologize for any content that was published on the EC-Council blog that was too closely aligned with any previously published articles, and look forward to continuing to provide meaningful resources and information within the EC-Council Blog to our community members to maintain our goals of influencing and educating successful cybersecurity professionals across the world for years to come.