SCI: Tech Fears Arise Over Norton and Pifts.exe

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posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by warpboost
 


Awesome site, thanks for the link.

Norton appears to be woefully average in comparison to other products. Glad there are so many options and the site appears independent and unbiased.

Thanks - A - Million.........KK




posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by Did you see them



It's like when TV companies say they don't turn up the volume when adverts come on - It's true they don't - they turn the volume of the program your watching down !!





How can we stop this practice? A petition? We used to have a TV that had a specific feature to regulate the audio but that was (more than) a few years ago. I haven't even seen this advertised as an option anymore. Can someone start a thread for this if there isn't one already?



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 07:28 AM
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Originally posted by elfie

Originally posted by Did you see them



It's like when TV companies say they don't turn up the volume when adverts come on - It's true they don't - they turn the volume of the program your watching down !!





It's normally done by compression, that's not strictly the same thing as 'volume'. It's a very similar practise to this:

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:21 AM
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Having uninstalled Norton about a year ago, I can tell you their uninstaller only removes the active program.

After much digging through the registry I was able to remove all traces of it.

Just hazarding a guess, I think once you have it on your system is plans to stay there no matter what you do with it. I'm thinking they keep a connection to your computer via the internet on the pretense they want to see if you're updated and protected.

Norton was the top of the line a decade ago. Now living off it's undeserved reputation and who knows what deals they've cooked with third parties.

A Symantec exec is no doubt reading this now.

Something has happened with them.


Mike



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:57 AM
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I uninstalled that junk from my pc a few years ago, and have been using freeware ever since. PC is running just fine (even better since i got the AOhelL software off it, now that IS a nasty bit of kit to have on your pc)

all you need to protect your pc for FREE is

AVG or Avast!
Spybot Search & Destroy
Ad-Aware
Windows Professional cleaner (V3.2 is the current one)

All free, all very good when put together.

Going back to fully gettting rid of symantec software, anyone have any hints of where it may be hiding? I think i['ve got rid of it all, but I;d like to make sure.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 03:05 AM
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reply to post by mmiichael
 


I think one of the big problems people are having though is that they are trying to uninstall it either not in safe mode or in standard mode while Norton processes are still running. Because of that, people are trying to uninstall the software while it is still running (even though it sais it isn't) and that means that some of the Norton processes will still remain even after you think it's completely been uninstalled. I had the same problem a while back with a freeware firewall program I used. Only after removing all the registry entries and remaining processes was I able to get my computer operating properly.

Another problem people commonly have is that they try to uninstall the software but some parts of Norton are still running so they aren't completely uninstalled. Then they try to install a new antivirus program on top of that. That can cause some conflicts that can make your computer go haywire. It can be hard to track down the problem too if you aren't sure what's going on. Most commonly I've seen startup issues in vista and XP because the old antivirus (or parts of it) are trying to run at startup while the other antivirus is trying to run at startup too. The two conflict, and then your computer locks up before you can even log in to your OS.

I just fixed a computer for a friend recently with this exact same problem. They had tried to uninstall Norton but some of it was not removed because it was running at the time and some of the registry entries remained too because of that. They had gone in and tried to install a new antivirus program they purchased but the two programs conflicted. I had to go into safe mode and I eventually saw that liveupdate for Norton was still installed. I removed it from the startup config and after a quick reinstall I was able to remove it..But only because I downloaded the "Norton Removal Tool" directly from their website and ran it just to make sure everything was removed while I knew liveupdate wasn't running in the background.

Some of this stuff is tricky and I think alot of people aren't tech-savy enough to know that just because task manager doesn't show certain programs doesn't mean they aren't running. For whatever reason liveupdate can remain though even after what you percieve is a clean uninstall of Norton. That could be due to liveupdate actually trying to update in the background at the time of the uninstall, it also might be because they intentionally want liveupdate to remain for whatever reasons they might have. (We've already run through the gambit of the Norton conspiracy ideas though in this particular thread).

I'm not saying a conspiracy doesn't exist.
I just think that alot of people have computer problems they don't think should be occurring on an otherwise healthy computer without viruses or spyware/malware of any kind so they get a little paranoid. I think it's well known by now that most computer problems are caused by user-error because some are more computer-savy than others. I'm pretty much always paranoid, myself, though too.. Just because I know a few hackers and I know what they are capable of.

Not to mention the fact that illegal covert operations have been conducted and are currently being conducted both by the public sector and private industries to monitor domestic U.S. and international internet activity. AT&T is facing a big law-suit right now because for years they operated illegal internet monitoring stations at key locations around the U.S.
AT&T, alone, was able to monitor something like 15 percent of all domestic internet activity in the U.S.
They sifted through the data (data mining basically) and handed over data of interest to the NSA and other intelligence organisations (illegally by the way). AT&T sais it can't even defend itself in court without releasing confidential information. And they have how much data? Wow..
Like I said before, its no wonder organisations like the NSA hire leaders from companies like Mcafee to head up their information-related organisations and special ops. Things are never as black and white as the government makes them out to be.


-ChriS



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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I don't really see too much difference between the rouge antivirus stuff like winantivirus etc that uses a trojan downloader to get on a machine and then try to extort the user for bogus subscription fees. Well Symantec Norton has all the sweetheart deals with the computer OEMs to come preinstalled out of the box with a trial subscription and then $60 a year! Since they don't even protect against a lot of nascent threats they're no better than the rouge antivirus stuff!


On top of that Norton is some of the most bloated software in existence and slows down a computer more than any other piece of single software I've seen both personally and in formal benchmarking people have done. Just google "what really slows down your computer" and you'll see.

Removing or uninstalling from safe mode, editing registry entries and those types of things are absolutely ridiculous!!


Since the company has a NORTON REMOVAL TOOL available which doesn't require safe mode reboots or any extra steps other than running it HOW COME THEY CAN'T JUST INCLUDE IT IN THE UNINSTALLER


[edit on 31-3-2009 by warpboost]

[edit on 31-3-2009 by warpboost]



posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 12:29 AM
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PIFTS.exe or Product Information Framework Troubleshooter


This entry was created to answer the following key questions around PIFTS.exe:


- What is PIFTS.exe?
- What is the function of PIFTS.exe?
- What information does PIFTS.exe collect?


Norton security products contain a component called Product Information Framework (PIF), and a feature called LiveUpdate Notice (LUN).


LUN is an in-product messaging mechanism that is used to notify customers when new product versions are available. The messaging is targeted to particular systems based on product version, operating system version, and product state, and this state is determined by the PIF component.


For instance, LUN was used to notify users when a Vista compatible version of their product became available, and LUN will again be used to notify users when a Windows 7 compatible version of their product becomes available.


LUN is fully integrated into 2008 and later products, but is a standalone component in 2006 and 2007 products. LUN became available after the 2006 and 2007 products shipped, and was added to the 2006 and 2007 products using LiveUpdate (LU).


Symantec is aware of a problem affecting some 2006 and 2007 products where a subsequent PIF update did not successfully apply. The cause of this problem is currently under investigation, but the result is that these users may not receive appropriate LUN messaging.


To assist with identifying the extent, and potential cause, of the problem, Symantec created an investigative executable that analyzes the Norton product state, and reports the details to Symantec. This information will help Symantec to identify and correct the problem with PIF, in time for the Windows 7 release.


Product Information Framework Troubleshooter (PIFTS) executable details:


File name: PIFTS.EXE
File size: 102400 bytes
MD5 hash: 91b564d825a3487ae5b5fafe57260810


The PIFTS.EXE binary was released through LiveUpdate targeting 2006 and 2007 products. After downloading the LU package, LU executes PIFTS.EXE, and PIFTS.EXE collects product state information, and reports this information to Symantec.


PIFTS.EXE does the following:


- Determines what product is installed, NIS, NAV, N360, NCO, or NSW, by looking under the HKLM\Software\Symantec\InstalledApps registry key.
- Determines the version of the installed product by looking at the file version information of a key product file.
- Determines if PIF is installed by looking under the HKLM\Software\Symantec\InstalledApps registry key.
- Determines the version of PIF by looking at the file version information of two key PIF files.
- Determines if PIF is enabled, and what the PIF state is, by looking at the PIF registry under HKLM\Software\Symantec.
- Determines the version of PIF that LiveUpdate believes is installed, by reading the LU catalog.
- The collected information, as described above, is reported to a Symantec server, called stats.norton.com, using an HTTP GET request. This server is located at a Symantec datacenter located on the East Coast of the United States.


No additional information is collected, no personal information is collected, and no system modifications are made.



posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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Maybe I missed it in this thread, but did anyone notice that PC World quoted ATS about this PIFTS thingy.

Bad Symantec Update Leads to Trouble


"Whether you believe this is something malicious or not, it is worrying the lengths the company will go to stop people from asking questions about PIFTS.exe," one poster to the Abovetopsecret.com Web site. "If you have Norton on your computer, I currently advise you to not allow pifts.exe through your firewall."



posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 01:53 PM
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First let quickly say a cracked program is one where someone gets into the base coding for the purpose of stealing that software then it gets distributed through various torrents and DDL's...

With that said Norton is one of the most cracked programs out there! and what always worried me was if an AV is so easy to crack what makes anyone think it can protect their computer?



posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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The Feds now have the right to monitor our internet use. I have been concerned about automatic updates being spyware, installed on our computers.

(FTS) admits to experimental techniques. I’m not sure what the (PI) may be perhaps (Privacy Intrusion) FTS could mean;

FTS; Federal Telecommunications System
FTS; Force Transfer System
FTS; Federal Technology Service
FTS; Federal Telecommunications Service

The internet is now considered a terrorist threat. I wouldnt put anything past them.



posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 03:26 PM
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I sincerly hope and pray that this drives people away from the corporate giant Microsoft, who bilks billions from people for their worthless software which is chock full of security holes. Why don't everyone just download one of the Linux Distros and be done with all these viruses and worms? Linux is totally free, totally safe from anything that is a exe file, and doesn't require virus protection, and comes with a strong firewall. I run Fedora myself, have been for years, and that old conflicter worm bothered me not one bit. Oh I used to be a Windows guy, but having discovered Linux, I would never go back. Just today I had to work on a customer's PC because it caught a virus, one that took me 4 hours to get rid of. I had to charge the woman $150 for the work, but told her I would install Linux for free, and forget about the bill, and she took me up. she called about an hour ago, thanking me, and said she loves it. To hell with Microsoft, install something stable and safe!



posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by elfie

Originally posted by Did you see them



It's like when TV companies say they don't turn up the volume when adverts come on - It's true they don't - they turn the volume of the program your watching down !!





How can we stop this practice? A petition? We used to have a TV that had a specific feature to regulate the audio but that was (more than) a few years ago. I haven't even seen this advertised as an option anymore. Can someone start a thread for this if there isn't one already?


My advice here is, stop watching TV.
I know, it sounds preachy. But believe me, TV is being used as a WMD. While you think you are being entertained, you are actually being subjected to a psychological attack.



posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 09:04 PM
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Originally posted by wonderworld
The Feds now have the right to monitor our internet use. I have been concerned about automatic updates being spyware, installed on our computers.

(FTS) admits to experimental techniques. I’m not sure what the (PI) may be perhaps (Privacy Intrusion) FTS could mean;

FTS; Federal Telecommunications System
FTS; Force Transfer System
FTS; Federal Technology Service
FTS; Federal Telecommunications Service

The internet is now considered a terrorist threat. I wouldnt put anything past them.



Without a doubt everything is monitored. They admit to this, and even before the patriot act the existence of Carnivore ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivore_(FBI) ) was public knowledge. Who knows, I personally wouldn’t think they would attempt to maintain software on everyone’s machines but who knows what they might do.

www.foxnews.com...

[edit on 19-4-2009 by Donkey_Dean]



posted on Apr, 19 2009 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by autowrench
I sincerly hope and pray that this drives people away from the corporate giant Microsoft, who bilks billions from people for their worthless software which is chock full of security holes. Why don't everyone just download one of the Linux Distros and be done with all these viruses and worms? Linux is totally free, totally safe from anything that is a exe file, and doesn't require virus protection, and comes with a strong firewall. I run Fedora myself, have been for years, and that old conflicter worm bothered me not one bit. Oh I used to be a Windows guy, but having discovered Linux, I would never go back. Just today I had to work on a customer's PC because it caught a virus, one that took me 4 hours to get rid of. I had to charge the woman $150 for the work, but told her I would install Linux for free, and forget about the bill, and she took me up. she called about an hour ago, thanking me, and said she loves it. To hell with Microsoft, install something stable and safe!


Give me a break man, If everyone starts using Linux the little punk a** virus makers etc will just follow suit.

There are just as many exploits out there for Linux/Unix as there are for Windows.

Also I feel sorry for the woman whose machine you upgraded. I hope she doesn’t buy any software and try to install it etc. etc. etc.

Linux is fine for guys like you, and those wanting to run web servers etc. (If you have a purpose.), but this poor lady is gonna play hell and you know it.


[edit on 19-4-2009 by Donkey_Dean]



posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 05:36 AM
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Remember when Microsoft was going through that antitrust suit brought by the feds? Then it just VANISHED. No conclusion, I doubt MS did anything, other than to ROLL OVER for the feds and give them all the backdoor access to their OS they could want.

Backdoor access = no antitrust suit.

Since Norton and MS go hand in hand, pre-installed on PCs everywhere, then they probably are playing along with the feds - compromising PCs the world over.

You want to stay safe then pick up any of the free linux versions you can run from a CD - pop in the CD and you have a full OS at your disposal, web browser and all. Remove the CD and all traces of your web activity are gone forever.



posted on May, 13 2009 @ 03:19 PM
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posted on May, 13 2009 @ 04:06 PM
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PIFT; = Protocol Interbank File Transfer

PIFT= Project issue file testing platform


Security review of rewritten Project Issue File Test (PIFT) module that integrates with the project module on drupal.org


[edit on 13-5-2009 by wonderworld]



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 02:49 AM
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www.islandcrisis.net...


Pifts.exe also known as pifsvc.exe


other hint? lets find out about pfsvc.exe?

www.file.net...



posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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well from the first link-from a norton employee:

community.norton.com...

Hi everyone,

Symantec released a diagnostic patch "PIFTS.exe" targeting Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2006 & 2007 users on March 9, 2009. This patch was released for approximately 3 hours (4:30 - 7:40 PM March 9, 2009 Pacific Time). In a case of human error, the patch was released by Symantec "unsigned", which caused the firewall user prompt for this file to access the Internet. The firewall alert for the patch caused understandable concern for users and began to be reported back to Symantec. Releasing a patch unsigned is an extremely rare occurrence that does not pose any security issues to our users. The patch reached a limited number of Norton customers and has subsequently been pulled from further distribution. Norton users are fully protected and do not need to take any action as a result of this issue.



There has been activity in the Norton User Forum related to PIFTS.exe which has generated additional concern and media speculation. At approximately 10:30pmET Monday March 9, Symantec detected that our User Forum boards were being abused by an individual or individuals. One individual created a new user account and posted about the name of the patch executable, PIFTS.exe. Within minutes, several dozen user accounts were created commenting on the initial thread, and/or creating new threads on the topic. Over the next few hours, over 200 user accounts were created. Within the first hour there were 600 new posts on this subject alone. While the intent of the spammer(s) remains unclear, there were no malicious links and it simply resulted in a widespread communications challenge for Symantec. Below are some examples of the forum spam we received from these new user accounts. These forum posts contained no text in the body of the message, simply a subject:



* O LAWD IM CHOKIN ON PIFTS PLZ HALP
* OH GOD YOU GOT CHOCOLATE IN MY PIFTS
* If you wanna be my NORTON/ you gotta deal with my P ! F T S . E X E
* IF PIFTS.EXE WAS HERE, THEN WHO WAS PHONE?
* PIFTS.EXE PIFTS.EXE PIFTS.EXE PIFTS.EXE PIFTS.EXE PIFTS.EXE PIFTS.EXE
* I LOVE MY PIFTS.EXE


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.



Finally, it has also been reported by the Washington Post that hackers are taking advantage of this situation. "Some of the top searches (currently the 3rd and 4th result in a Google search) are Web sites that try to install malicious software when you visit them." When searching for information on "pifts.exe," Symantec strongly advises all users to be wary of following links to unknown sites as malicious users are attempting to use this hot topic to distribute malware.





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