The mystery of Symantec and PIFTS.EXE

The internet is full of babble today – and a fair amount of conspiracy theories – after users of Symantec’s Norton anti-virus products began to see firewall alerts asking them if they wanted to trust a program called PIFTS.EXE.

Hundreds of users of sites like Twitter and Slashdot posted their concerns about the file, and support forums like that belonging to firewall vendor ZoneAlarm filled up with reports of users’ latest experiences.

And I think it would be fair to say that panic grew and conspiracy theories fermented as some users reported disgruntlement with Symantec’s response to the issue.

Some claimed that when they had tried to post questions on Norton’s online community forum about PIFTS they were deleted…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.