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Updated: February 13, 2007 11:46:48 AM
Type: Adware
Risk Impact: High
File Names: svchost.exe security.exe svchost32.dll
Systems Affected: Windows


Adware.Daosearch is a program that continuously changes the Internet Explorer homepage. It also displays advertisements and monitors search queries made through popular search engines.


One or more files detected as Adware.Daosearch.


This security risk must be manually installed.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version October 02, 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version May 07, 2019 revision 006
  • Initial Daily Certified version April 13, 2005
  • Latest Daily Certified version May 07, 2019 revision 008
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date April 14, 2005

Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

Technical Description

When Adware.Daosearch is installed, it performs the following actions:

  1. Creates the following files:
    • %System%\services\[RANDOM_GUID]\security.exe
    • %System%\services\[RANDOM_GUID]\svchost.dll
    • %System%\services\[RANDOM_GUID]\svchost.exe
    • %System%\services\[RANDOM_GUID]\svchost32.dll
    • %System%\services\[RANDOM_GUID]\security.dll

    • %System% is a variable that refers to the System folder. By default this is C:\Windows\System (Windows 95/98/Me), C:\Winnt\System32 (Windows NT/2000), or C:\Windows\System32 (Windows XP).
    • [RANDOM_GUID] is a variable that refers to a random series of hexadecimal digits of the form [XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX].

  2. Adds the values:

    "Service Host" = "[PATH TO EXECUTABLE]\svchost.exe"
    "Disk Keeper" = "[PATH TO EXECUTABLE]\security.exe"

    to the registry key


    so that the risk runs every time Windows starts.

  3. Creates the registry key:


    to store information about the location of the files created in Step 1.

  4. Modifies the value:

    "start page" = ""

    in the registry subkey:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

    to change the Internet Explorer Home Page. This value is continuously reset every time Internet Explorer is started.

  5. May download additional security risks depending on information received from a remote server.


The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support security risk detection.

  1. Update the definitions.
  2. Restart the computer in Safe Mode.
  3. Run a full system scan.
  4. Delete any values added to the registry.
  5. Reset the Internet Explorer homepage
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To update the definitions
To obtain the most recent definitions, start your Symantec program and run LiveUpdate.

2. To restart in Safe Mode.
To restart the computer in Safe Mode, read the document, How to start the computer in Safe Mode .

3. To run the scan
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
  2. If any files are detected, and depending on which software version you are using, you may see one or more of the following options:

    Note: This applies only to versions of Norton AntiVirus that support security risk detection. If you are running a version of Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition that supports security risk detection, and security risk detection has been enabled, you will only see a message box that gives the results of the scan. If you have questions in this situation, contact your network administrator.
    • Exclude (Not recommended): If you click this button, it will set the risk so that it is no longer detectable. That is, the antivirus program will keep the security risk on your computer and will no longer detect it to remove from your computer.

    • Ignore or Skip: This option tells the scanner to ignore the risk for this scan only. It will be detected again the next time that you run a scan.

    • Cancel: This option is new to Norton Antivirus 2005. It is used when Norton Antivirus 2005 has determined that it cannot delete a security risk. This Cancel option tells the scanner to ignore the risk for this scan only, and thus, the risk will be detected again the next time that you run a scan.

      To actually delete the security risk:
      • Click its file name (under the Filename column).
      • In the Item Information box that displays, write down the full path and file name.
      • Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

    • Delete: This option will attempt to delete the detected files. In some cases, the scanner will not be able to do this.
      • If you see a message, "Delete Failed" (or similar message), manually delete the file.
      • Click the file name of the risk that is under the Filename column.
      • In the Item Information box that displays, write down the full path and file name.
      • Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

  3. Open Windows Explorer.
  4. Navigate to and delete the folder %System%\services
  5. Close Windows Explorer.

After the files are deleted, restart the computer in Normal mode and proceed with the next section.

Warning messages may be displayed when the computer is restarted, since the risk may not be fully removed at this point. You can ignore these messages and click OK. These messages will not appear when the computer is restarted after the removal instructions have been fully completed. The messages displayed may be similar to the following:

Title: [FILE PATH]
Message body: Windows cannot find [FILE NAME]. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.

4. To delete the value from the registry
Important: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified subkeys only. Read the document: How to make a backup of the Windows registry .
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK.

    Note: If the registry editor fails to open the risk may have modified the registry to prevent access to the registry editor. Security Response has developed a tool to resolve this problem. Download and run this tool, and then continue with the removal.

  3. Navigate to the subkey:


  4. In the right pane, delete the values:

    "Service Host" = "[PATH TO EXECUTABLE]\svchost.exe"
    "Disk Keeper" = "[PATH TO EXECUTABLE]\security.exe"

  5. Navigate to and delete the subkey:


  6. Exit the Registry Editor.

5. To reset the Internet Explorer home page
  1. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  2. Connect to the Internet, and then go to the page that you want to set as your home page.
  3. Click Tools > Internet Options.
  4. In the Home page section of the General tab, click Use Current > OK.

For additional information, or if this procedure does not work, read the Microsoft® Knowledge Base article: Home Page Setting Changes Unexpectedly, or You Cannot Change Your Home Page Setting, Article ID 320159 .