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SCI: Tech Fears Arise Over Norton and Pifts.exe

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posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 07:46 AM
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Interesting post from "Seriousbusiness" on Norton...


Magic Lantern is keystroke logging software developed by the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus and related products, is reportedly working with the FBI on ways to preclude their products from detecting Magic Lantern. Eric Chien, a top researcher at Symantec, emphasized the ability to detect "modified versions."

P.I.F.T.S.

Public Internet and File Tracking System

It goes offshore because there's no law forbidding sending it to foreign governments. If governments want to spy on their own citizens, it is normal for them to have foreigners do it in order to get around normal restrictions about spying on their own people.


Source (Although I doubt if the link will stay up much longer...)




posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 07:48 AM
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I post on another popular security newsgroup and there is barely any mention of pifts.exe

I don't many people complaining about this file apart from the people spamming the norton boards.

Has anyone here confirmed, on their own system!, that this file actually exists ?

Not just using internet hearsay, but found, physically, on their computer system running norton software ?



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 07:51 AM
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People still linking ATS need to stop.

source

Theres no point to it and will just send the spammers hee.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 07:54 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
Interesting post from "Seriousbusiness" on Norton...


Magic Lantern is keystroke logging software developed by the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus and related products, is reportedly working with the FBI on ways to preclude their products from detecting Magic Lantern. Eric Chien, a top researcher at Symantec, emphasized the ability to detect "modified versions."

P.I.F.T.S.

Public Internet and File Tracking System

It goes offshore because there's no law forbidding sending it to foreign governments. If governments want to spy on their own citizens, it is normal for them to have foreigners do it in order to get around normal restrictions about spying on their own people.


Source (Although I doubt if the link will stay up much longer...)


This is extremely serious I don't as a rule use Norton (resource hog) but how long until other companies follow suit. Coulld this mark the end of the internet as we know it.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 07:55 AM
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My advice is to just use ClamWin antivirus or another free source ant virus. Ever since i downloaded it, it has worked fine on my computer and no viruses since. Free source is definitely the way to go.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by zsrgt
Has anyone here confirmed, on their own system!, that this file actually exists ?


Furthermore, has anyone had this file pop up in their firewall asking for access to the internet?

It's all fine and dandy going along with this hysteria regarding the file - but it'd be nice if anyone can confirm, or deny, that their computer (running Norton) have asked for PIFTS.EXE to access the internet in the last couple of days.

Else we might all be staring at some sort of joke, further concreted by Norton's recent raid activity.

I'm hoping for long time respected posters who usually don't talk tech to reply - but everyone is welcome.

-m0r



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:02 AM
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reply to post by franspeakfree
 


This does not make sense either! If this was true then they would just use windows to include this kind of software!



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:05 AM
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I am extremely worried about all this. I don't understand the finer detail of the technicalities, but what I DO understand is that the governement is trying to interfere with the only independent tool we have left. They have already hijacked all the other media.

Have you noticed how difficult the internet has made life for big industrials, bent politicians and others addicted to power and control? To give you one axample, according to captain Eric May, several False Flag operations were abandoned because of the power of internet. Regardless whether this is true or not, I can imagine the gov't doing anything in their power to try and disable the one medium we have for independent information spreading and independent mass communication.

This is possibly the most important thread on the ATS. Without our internet independence, we have no way of informing or warning each other about all of these interesting topics, many of which could make a real difference to our lives in the future.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:05 AM
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SANS Internet Strom Center is now also ivestigating.


The file has been confirmed to call home to stats.norton.com



We're trying to reach our contacts at Symantec for an explanation, and will update if and when we get a response.


They should have good access to Symantec inside information so hopefully we'll know soon what this is all about. So far I'm just happy I'm not a Windows user.

Edit to link directly to the story




[edit on 10/3/2009 by FreezeM]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by m0r1arty

Furthermore, has anyone had this file pop up in their firewall asking for access to the internet?


That's a good question. So far there seem to be a lot of independent sources that has the file/received the message.

I'm currently scanning all the PCs on my network (with Norton installed) to see if I can find a copy.

The thing is - IF it's a hoax/prank/joke, why doesn’t/didn’t Norton just post something about it on their board? I understand why they're deleting and banning on sight at this point - due to the spamming, but they could have stopped it with an announcement earlier on...

Edit: Clarity

[edit on 10-3-2009 by Gemwolf]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:12 AM
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eset nod32 best antivirus software on the market.

Bar none - put your hand in your pocket and buy it. I am amazed by its efficiency and power.

Comodo firewall - free. get it.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:12 AM
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Is it my internet or are Google now removing search results for pifts.exe? I get two pages of results!

[edit on 10-3-2009 by tommyboy1981]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 




I'm just curious why the reference to South Africa. For one South Africa doesn't have a very strong Internet infrastructure.


Uhhhh... Where's Nigeria......? I need to go look it up on a map, and even if it's NOT in S Africa- how much power would it take (computing wise) to run this info to there for their little scamming operation.....



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:16 AM
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Originally posted by Gemwolf
The thing is - IF it's a hoax/prank/joke, why doesn’t/didn’t Norton just post something about it on their board? I understand why they're doing it at this point - due to the spamming, but they could have stopped it with a announcement earlier on...


Why? Because they made a mistake? A moderator decides to remove untrue posts that can cause FUD. But because he does, people start screaming THEY'RE HIDING SOMETHING. And unwillingly the moderator creates FUD.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:19 AM
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I think someone is seeing this as an opportunity to claim some fame...




en.wikipedia.org...(software)

Magic Lantern is keystroke logging software developed by the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus and related products, is reportedly working with the FBI on ways to preclude their products from detecting Magic Lantern. Eric Chien, a top researcher at Symantec, emphasized the ability to detect "modified versions."

P.I.F.T.S.

Public Internet and File Tracking System

It goes offshore because there's no law forbidding sending it to foreign governments. If governments want to spy on their own citizens, it is normal for them to have foreigners do it in order to get around normal restrictions about spying on their own people.

You delete a thread, we create 10 more. You hijack a plane, we take out an airport. They execute American tourist, we tactically nuke an entire city



WE ARE ANON
WE DO NOT FORGET

WE DO NOT FORGIVE


Source (This link will stop working within a couple of minutes.)

I think this person, now calling himself "TheMuppetMaster" just jumped on the bandwagon, and may be irrelevant to the actual issue...



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:22 AM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 


I vote to rename this thread: "The PIFTS.EXE Controversy is an NSA/FBI Fishing Expedition"




posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:23 AM
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reply to post by wylekat
 


I'm unsure about the reference to Africa. Some say the "call" from the file traces to North Africa (Nigeria is in Northern Africa), whilst someone mentioned that it's traced to South Africa (which is in Sourthern Africa)...

On a side note:
The Magic Lantern article is an interesting read...


Symantec, Norton AntiVirus Products

Symantec, the makers of Norton AntiVirus and related products, is reportedly working with the FBI on ways to preclude their products from detecting Magic Lantern. Eric Chien, a top researcher at Symantec, emphasized the ability to detect "modified versions."

Symantec's reported cooperation with the FBI, and stated willingness to ignore trojans on its customer's computers, has raised concerns among computer industry professionals and commentators. One concern is that when Norton AntiVirus ignores the Magic Lantern program it will have no way to confirm it is being deployed in accordance with law, and that this may allow illegal monitoring by both the police and by malicious hackers and private citizens, precisely the activity Norton products are designed to prevent. Graham Cluley, a technology consultant with Sophos Anti-Virus Inc., said: "We have no way of knowing if it was written by the FBI, and even if we did, we wouldn’t know whether it was being used by the FBI or if it had been commandeered by a third party."
...
More



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by FreezeM
...
Why? Because they made a mistake? A moderator decides to remove untrue posts that can cause FUD. But because he does, people start screaming THEY'RE HIDING SOMETHING. And unwillingly the moderator creates FUD.


Yes. That may happen. But as I understand it, it happened something like this:
"A person asked on the Norton board what Pifts.exe is. The thread gets deleted. Someone else asked the same question. Same thing happens. Upset Norton customer runs to another board and starts all the drama. Snowballing into a... conspiracy."


If a drama like that appears on a board - like ATS - the staff usually takes control of the situation, and give visitors some indication that they're aware of the drama/issue. It's not a very clever tactic to play deaf/dumb, don't you agree? If they took control of the situation - even by lying - it wouldn't have escalated to this.

So perhaps they wanted this to happen?



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:33 AM
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The Phorm concept which is due to finish deployment within the UK by the end of the year seems like it might be tied in here somehow.

It would really be useful to get those who have had it post here with their locales, ISPs and system specs - if only to confirm it's existence.

-m0r



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:35 AM
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reply to post by Gemwolf
 


It is strange that it would be asking for permission to allow access.

It could be a way of them denying at a later date and saying that they claim no responsibility for it due to the user accepting it?

Again it would not be the first time that the net has had a big hoax pulled on users.

I agree that they should not be ignoring this either way but I know that even if Symnatec did this or it was a hacker, it will be blamed on a hacker if it is not a hoax.

Then it will become a question of cover-up??

Does show how vulnerable companies are to rumors if that is what this is?

This could potentially ruin them.

I had a look at this on the net which gives some information, I do not know if it is false though?
www.tech-linkblog.com...

[edit on 10-3-2009 by XXXN3O]



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