That wscntfy.exe is the process that (when working properly) displays the shield in the Notification Area when the XP Security Center need attention, like turning off Automatic Updates for me gives me that process and a shield (you know the one).
It runs under svchost, but does not take hardly any CPU.
I don't think it should be running at all if things are set up "properly" or the one you have is afflicted - so do you have the Windows Security icon showing or not and is your SC configured properly? What if you change your SC settings?
Start, Settings, Control Panel, Security Center...
I would terminate that wscntfy process and/or the svchost and see how things look. Kill them both - it should not be running in the first place. It is a little hard to kill it and it will come back on its own but not under svchost.
You can keep Task Manager on top sorted by the CPU column, kill the svchost and/or wscntfy with PE and see what happens in TM.
I read that malicious software can disguise itself as wscntfy.exe, so you should do some scans:
Reduce the chances of malicious software by running some scans.
Download, install, update and do a full scan with these free malware detection programs:
Malwarebytes (MBAM): http://malwarebytes.org/
SUPERAntiSpyware: (SAS): http://www.superantispyware.com/
These can be uninstalled later if desired.
Edited by joseibarra, 10 October 2009 - 08:33 PM.