Do you know what SearchNet is?
SearchNet is the term used to refer to a redirect virus, which is also referred to as a Trojan horse or and adware program by some malware researchers. The SearchNet redirect virus alters the settings of those computers that contain the Windows XP operating system. More specifically, the malicious program is aimed at altering the settings of Internet Explorer so that every time you attempt to browse the Internet you are taken to searchnet.com or zhongsou.com. It is important to note that the domain name searchnet.com is not used by another search provider, which has nothing to do with the SearchNet malware.
At the moment, the new searchnet.com offers computer a chance to browse by categories, which include restaurants, movies, doctors, hotels, and some other categories. The search engine uses third-party advertising companies to provide computer users with advertisements. The search engine also features some top rated articles. Upon clicking on one of the headlines, not only are you provided with an article but also some advertisements.
In the case of the SearchNet redirect virus, computer users would be provide with sponsored links and iframe advertisements located on both sides of the search engine results page. As you probably know, search engines are usually not associated with the third parties advertised, which means that you interact with those links and third-party websites at your own risk.
The SearchNet virus is known to create several files, including SearchNet.exe, ServeUp.exe, SNHpr.dll, SrvNet32.dll, and UnInstall.exe, and a great many registry entries, all of have to be removed from the computer. The SearchNet infection would start running simultaneously with the operating system. The removal of such infection is a must because it may attempt to delete some files and directories.
At the moment of writing, the malicious redirect virus is already deactivated, but it does not mean that you should not pay attention to your online security. The SearchNet Trojan was at its peak in 2006, and since when a lot of other malicious computer programs have been created. It is highly advisable to keep the computer protected because an unprotected computer can easily get afflicted by browser hijackers, rogue anti-virus programs, rootkits, and many other computer threats.
In non-techie terms:
SearchNet is a malicious program which alters the settings of Internet Explorer to redirect computer users to zhongsou.com or searcnet.com. This computer threat is no longer active, but if you want to prevent similar threats in the future, you should implement a reputable spyware and malware prevention tool.