Symantec, what's PIFTS? Please don't delete this! (Updated)


Update: PIFTS identified. A comment points us to this page, which explains that the “Product Information Framework Trouble Shooter” is “a diagnostic patch that we put out for the older products” and was put out without being properly signed by Symantec, prompting the firewall response. As for the shady forum deletions? They say a 4chan spammer got into the system around the same time. Ver-r-r-y convenient, but they do say their policy is not to delete. Mystery solved, everybody! Go home!

I have no idea what is going on, but my buddy Mike just sent this to me and I’m hoping to spread the word. Sometime yesterday he received a Norton Program Alert saying, “PIFTS is attempting to access the Internet.” Being the nerd that he is, he did an nslookup on the IP and it came back to SwapDrive, which is a Symantec owned company. He then posted on the Norton/Symantec forums, but had his threads deleted and account terminated.

I was following a thread here regarding an error message that many people got today and the thread was deleted. So here is a new thread.

I have an expired version of Norton Internet Security. Today I received a program alert which said:
PIFTS is attempting to access the Internet
Program: PIFTS.exe
Path: C:\ProgramData\Symantec\LiveUpdate\Downloads\Updt652\
Date/Time: 3/9/2009 5:58 PM

This appears to be a Norton file of some sort. However, Norton does not offer any information about this file.

Here is what I gathered so far:
-If you block this file’s access to the internet then it might not be able to provide any updates to your Norton.
-It might be related to another company that Symantec recently acquired.

If Norton or Symantec or anyone else can provide any info that would be greatly appreciated!!

I clicked the submit button but immediately I got this error message:

We’re sorry, but you have been banned from using this site.

I suspected that they banned me because my password bashed Norton. So I created a new account called WhatsPIFTS and posted the same message again.

A few minutes later I reloaded my post and got this message:

The message you are trying to access has been deleted. Please update your bookmarks.

Shortly thereafter my new account was banned!

Does anyone have any info on this? According to Google Trends, pifts.exe was the 23rd most commonly searched term yesterday. Conspiracy or coincidence.

You can check out Mike’s ordeal over at Freebase.