That's right, Black Viper's site is a great place to learn about XP services and which are needed and which aren't.
What you need to look out for in regards to malware is how this service is spelled. If it's scvhost.exe
instead of svc.host.exe
then it's nearly always bad.svchost.exe
can also be bad. If it shows up in an odd place in a HijackThis log it would bear further investigation. In any event, if you want to get a better idea of what service (svc)
is being hosted (svchost)
download an extended process viewer like Process Explorer
by Sysinternals. Once installed, make sure the bottom pane is showing (View>Show Lower Pane), and when you highlite a process, the .dll's that are loaded will be listed.
Have fun with it!