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So bad it’s funny, or just so bad?

Jan 24, 20072 mins
Data and Information Security

By Robert McMillan

Symantec Corp. today posted disappointing earnings for the last three months of 2006. The company’s press release listed a number of excuses: poor storage sales, extra costs deploying a new ERP system, too many customers opting for boring multi-year maintenance contracts instead of something more glamorous.

But there was one cost center that Symantec neglected to mention in its press release: 80s hair metal adverbands.

For the past few months, Symantec has been quietly pushing a viral marketing campaign around something called RockDotRock, a band Symantec says it assembled “for the express purpose of spreading awareness of a brand through the majesty of Rock n’Roll.”

There are publicity photos, an interactive website, a five-song EP, and (most frighteningly) a music video for “Is it Really You (I’m Talking To),” RockDotRock’s choreographed take on the dangers of identity theft.

Has the security industry learned nothing from The CheckPoint Song? Marcus Ranum has called this “evil satanic disco trance salsa,” but whatever you call it, the lesson is the same. Security companies should stick to their knitting and leave the Rock and Roll to the soft drink makers.

“Non-traditional two-factor authentication” was never meant to be in a song. Not even in the 80s.