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What is it?
Session Manager SubSystem - smss.exe

What does it do?
smss.exe - This is the session manager subsystem, which is responsible for starting the user session. This process is initiated by the system thread and is responsible for various activities, including launching the Winlogon and Win32 (Csrss.exe) processes and setting system variables. After it has launched these processes, it waits for either Winlogon or Csrss to end. If this happens "normally," the system shuts down; if it happens unexpectedly, Smss.exe causes the system to stop responding (hang).

Additional Reading:
Smss.exe does not resolve forward references in environment

You will not be able to end this through task manager!

More info

Virus Precaution:

The smss.exe which is from Microsoft is located at c:windowsSystem32smss.exe . We've been able to find several viruses that run as smss to trick you.

Adware.Advision - Symantec Corporation
Adware.DreamAd - Symantec Corporation
Backdoor.IRC.Aladinz.O - Symantec Corporation
Backdoor.IRC.Flood.F - Symantec Corporation
W32.Dalbug.Worm - Symantec Corporation
W32.Resdoc - Symantec Corporation