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Symantec HackIsWack contest packs in

Peace out, etc

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Symantec's hapless HackIsWack cybercrime rap competition came to a close on Thursday, with 180 entries.

The rap competition had the worthwhile aim of raising cybercrime awareness, but will chiefly be remembered for the farcical antics on its dedicated macro-site, hackiswack.com.

Interested parties quickly discovered that cross-site scripting problems on the site made it possible to rickroll surfers to deliver content from third-party sites. Symantec moved to fix the problem, only for security researchers to discover shortcomings in the fix that allowed yet more rickrolling mischief, specifically Beaker from the Muppets singing internet-annoyance anthem Never Gonna Give You Up.

The rickrolling cross-site scripting bug was just the most obvious of the site's flaws. Other problems included the caching of potentially sensitive data and upload security problems, as explained here.

No real harm came of any of this, but nonetheless surfers are entitled to expect higher standards of website security from Symantec-branded sites than from your average mom and pop website. Symantec wound up looking more than a little clueless rather than at all down with the kids.

In response to questions from El Reg, Symantec declined to name the guilty party who developed the site, doing nothing to quell speculation that rapper Snoop Dogg, who serves as a spokesman for HackisWack, also coded the site.

"Ultimately, responsibility for the microsite falls on Symantec and we have addressed the issue," it said.

The contest itself was open to US residents only, who were invited to upload a two-minute video on the theme of cybercrime. The winner will secure an all-expense paid trip to LA for two to see a Snoop Dogg concert, along with a laptop running Norton Internet Security. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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