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Originally posted by Nventual
That explains everything to me except for one or two things.
What does pifts.exe even do, and why did Yahoo Answers! take them down before the spamming too?
On March 9, 2009, Norton Internet Security users around the world encountered a suspicious message which indicated that an unsigned program, PIFTS.exe, was trying to connect to the Internet. Users quickly turned to Google where they only found other users looking for the same answers. Next they began posting questions on the official Norton Internet Security message board.
Here is where the situation quickly deteriorated. Forum moderators began pulling every single post which mentioned PIFTS or merely alluded to it. Symantec realized that they had a problem on their hands and hoped that they could keep things quiet long enough to prepare a fix. But what they failed to comprehend was that their actions to cover-up their mistake created a fertile breeding ground for misinformation and conspiracy theories. A search for "PIFTS" on their site gave but one response: "Did you mean: gifts?"
As is often the case, Symantec's cover-up was much worse than the actual crime. They could have prevented this disaster by posting an official statement immediately, not an entire day after the fact. To make matters worse, when Symantec employee Dave Cole posted the official response he tried to brush aside the mass deletion of legitimate posts regarding PIFTS with this statement:
Symantec strictly adheres to its Norton Community Terms of Service and does not delete postings unless they are in violation of these guidelines. Upon determining that our User Forums were being abused, Symantec began removing the spam posts.
Senior Director of Product Management
Consumer Products and Solutions
AT&T agreed to allow large portions of sealed documents that sit at the heart of an anti-spying case against the telecom giant which alleges the company illegally installed secret surveillance rooms in its internet facilities at the behest of the National Security Agency. The case brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in January 2006 relies on documents provided to the group by Mark Klein, a retired AT&T technician who took three documents home with him when he retired in 2004.
AT&T acceded to the disclosure only after the EFF threatened to ask a federal appeals court to unseal documents that had been published by Wired News and Frontline, which would have forced the company's lawyers into the embarrassing position of arguing that documents available on the internet for more than a year were secret, according to Cindy Cohn, the EFF's legal director.
Those documents, along with a signed declaration from Klein and an interpretation of the documents by internet expert J. Scott Marcus, were kept mostly under wraps by court order that applied to the parties in the case. However, Wired News was able to independently acquire significant portions of the wiring diagrams, equipment list and task orders, and published them in May 2006. Today's newly released portions of the Hepting documents confirm that the Wired documents are the same as those under seal.
AT&T likely has 15 to 20 of these rooms around the country, shipped data out of the rooms via a separate network to another location and collectively, the rooms were able to keep tabs on some 10% of the nation's purely domestic intenret traffic, according to Marcus.
The obvious and natural design for a massive surveillance system for IPO-based data, and the one most cost-effective to implement, would in my judgment be comprised of the following elements:
(1) massive data capture at the locations where the data can be tapped,
(2) high speed screening and reduction of the captured data at the point of capture in order to identify data of interest,
(3) shipment of the data of interest to one or two central collection points for more detailed analysis, and
(4) intensive analysis and cross correlation of the data of interest by very powerful processing engines at the central location or locations.
A little more research, and I found that that board spliced in between the keyboard and the ethernet chip is little more than a Keyghost hardware keylogger.
The reasons a computer manufacturer would put this in their laptops can only be left up to your imagination. It would be very impractical to hand-anylze the logs, and very CPU-intensive to do so on a computer for every person that purchased a laptop. Why are these keyloggers here? I recently almost found out.
I called the police, as having a keylogger unknown to me in my laptop is a serious offense. They told me to call the Department of Homeland Security. At this point, I am in disbelief. Why would the DHS have a keylogger in my laptop? It was surreal.
So I called them, and they told me to submit a Freedom of Information Act request. This is what I got back:
Under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) the only items exempt from public disclosure are items relating to "law enforcement tools and techniques" and "items relating to national security."
The real life implications of this are plain: Computer manufacturers appear to be cooperating with the Department of Homeland Security to make every person who buys a new computer subject to immediate, unrestricted government recording of everything they do on those computers! EVERYTHING!
Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
Hi Tim, would it be possible to release software that can be completely deleted from Windows without leaving traces of itself all over the registry like a disease?
After my experience with NAV, I'd rather download antivirus tools from a Nigerian porn site pop-up window.
Originally posted by yeastblood
reply to post by tim_lopez
Wow it really is easy to explain this all away. You are doing your job very well Tim Lopez. Unfortunately you are not telling the truth as it happened and the PIFTS.EXE posts were not merged into one and that is not the reason why the google links were broken. I was watching this unfold from the very beginning and although that is a sound excuse it is just not true. You deleted or hid all the posts about PIFTS.EXE and there were no posts allowed on your forum regarding PIFTS until you all had come up with a game plan for explaining this away.
Anyways I don't care anymore as it seems most people have forgotten about this whole incident and are willing to believe your lies but as someone who watched from the beginning the way you handled this whole situation and the way you are still lying to people I had to reply
Originally posted by breakingdradles
I have tried to ask you these 2 questions in the norton forum but you must have missed them.
Why does the update look at your internet history and google desktop history?
And why does it send them to a Microsoft server and your own online storage service SwapDrive?
Just can't figure out why you'd need your customer's internet browsing history, cookies ect., and why you'd send that data to Microsoft and keep a copy in your massive online storage site.
Please answer these 2 easy questions. If you reply with something along the lines of we are waiting for that information, we will know something fishy is up.
Thank you Tim for coming to this forum to address this issue, look forward to a response.
Edit to add one more, DO ALL OF YOUR UPDATES ALSO UPDATE YOUR CUSTOMER'S BROWSING HISTORY THAT YOU SEEM TO BE KEEPING ON FILE??