What Is Multipartite Virus?

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Maxym Chekalov
Written by
Maxym Chekalov

Updated · Nov 17, 2023

Maxym Chekalov
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Maxym Chekalov

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April Grace Asgapo
Edited by
April Grace Asgapo


April Grace Asgapo
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
April Grace Asgapo

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The multipartite virus stands out as one of the most hazardous computer viruses. Crafted by malicious cybercriminals, it infiltrates executable (.exe) files and vulnerable system boot sectors. 

The uniqueness of this virus lies in its dual-system attack capability, which sets it apart from other viruses.

In this article, learn what a multipartite virus is and how it can infect a device.

Key Takeaways:

  • A multipartite virus attacks executable files and the boot sector, making it more dangerous than other viruses.
  • This virus attacks secretly because it hides in physical media or a program.
  • Some signs of an infected device are memory always low, unknown programs running, and slow device start-up.
  • You can protect your device by installing antivirus.

What Is A Multipartite Virus?

A multipartite virus is a fast-moving malware that targets both executable files and the boot sector of a device at once. 

Due to having more dissemination options than conventional computer viruses, multipartite viruses are frequently viewed as more dangerous.

These viruses can attack computers more than once, requiring the complete purging of the system to be removed.

Once the infected system or devices' components are not all eliminated, it will result in the system being repeatedly reinfected.

“These types of viruses are usually the hardest to contain and deal with. They will infect multiple system parts, including memory, files, executables, and even the boot sector.”

                                                                                     -David Schloss

Type of Viruses

As a result, the computer's performance lags, and the application's memory will run low. To avoid this, it is important to understand how a multipartite virus infects a device. 

How Does A Multipartite Virus Infect a Device?

Two different kinds of infectors are used in the attack by the multipartite virus: file and boot infectors. When a device is infected, the mere act of turning on a computer will activate the virus.

Multipartite Virus Mechanism

While most computer viruses affect one system at a time, a multipartite virus can simultaneously attack the boot and executable file sector, making the system inoperable even for simple tasks.

Here’s how you can differentiate a file infector from a boot infector:

File infectors

Boot infectors

It can hide inside a useful program and run when it is opened.

It can hide in physical media and run automatically when it boots up.

Files with .exe or .com extensions are infected. 

It automatically loads into the memory when your machine is infected, enabling computer control.

Some file infectors can overwrite host files, while others can corrupt the hard drive’s formatting. 

Data retrieval issues like disappearing from entire partitions happen. It also becomes unstable because the infected computer has trouble booting up or finding the hard drive.

The multipartite virus can also attack multiple computer systems and devices more than once and at different times, raising the risk of cyber attacks.

The possibilities of cleaning multipartite virus-infected software files are slim. Often, an infected device must go through a purge to be fixed. 

Devices can be vulnerable to infections from downloading infected software, inserting contaminated disks or drives, or neglecting software updates, making them susceptible to multipartite virus attacks.

The virus can spread in several ways, and the following section will explain how you will know if your system is infected.

Good to know! 

Infecting a device with multipartite virus can be considered a cyber attack. According to statistics, cybercrime in 2023 is predicted to have a global annual cost of up to $8 trillion.


Signs Of A Multipartite Virus-Infected System

Understanding a multipartite virus can help prevent it from destroying your computer systems. 

Here are some of the signs that a multipartite virus has already infected a system:

  • Constant Low Virtual Memory Warning.
  • Dynamic Application And File Sizes.
  • Document Extension Modification.
  • Missing Drive Controllers.
  • Automated Disk Formatting
  • Sluggish Startup.

Signs Of A Multipartite Virus-Infected System

Constant low virtual memory warning

The constant popping of messages that warn you that your computer is running in low memory can signal that the virus has spread to the executable files, which will automatically consume memory.

Dynamic application and file sizes

As a result of being infected, some unknown active applications might run in the background, causing your device or computer to slow down after hogging all the resources.

Document Extension Modification

You will know when your computer or device is infected when your file extensions are changed to unknown applications. The virus will also restore formats, icons, and default file extensions to their original state.

Missing Drive Controllers

The computer's software to control devices is known as a driver. A multipartite virus can destroy these controllers and cause harm to the device. 

Automated Disk Formatting

Depending on the type of multipartite virus, the hard drive of the infected device may also be automatically reformatted. The virus may reformat the computer's hard disk to reinfect it even if the anti-malware software removes the infection.

Sluggish Startup

The virus can slow your computer's processing, consuming system resources and making tasks take much longer. The virus will render your device unusable by degrading your computer's performance or program. 

When a device gets infected by a virus, there are times when it is fixable. Still, in most cases, especially with a multipartite virus, it's hard to repair the damage as reinfection is possible. 

Knowing these signs is vital to help you protect important files and your device. 

Protecting Your Device from Being Infected

Eradicating a multipartite virus is notoriously challenging. There’s a chance it can reinfect the device when not done properly.

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some ways to protect your device from being infected:

Install trusted antivirus or anti-malware software from well-known and dependable software suppliers. You will then be prepared to defend your device from any attack.

Back up important documents and files and store them in the cloud, backup software, or external drives. By doing this, you can ensure that your data is secure even if your devices become infected.

Avoid clicking on suspicious links and websites by reading the URLs carefully and keeping an eye on the lock and shield icon on the website. Avoid downloading freeware from unreliable websites online.

Regularly update your computer and devices because cybercriminals look for out-of-date software and operating system versions to attack and infect a computer. 

Never open or download email attachments from people you don't trust. Cybercriminals can do phishing emails that frequently contain malicious links to harm your computer or device.

logo related to viruses/computer

Multipartite viruses are known for spreading fast and attacking quickly with less detection. It is best to shield yourself first from this cyberattack

Bottom Line

Multipartite viruses quickly spread and negatively impact your computer system and devices. 

Eliminating the multipartite virus requires purging the computer's components because once it gets infected and not everything is removed, it is susceptible to reinfection. 

Prevention is always important because you'll never know whether the virus that will infect your system or device could be dangerous to the point it will render your device inoperable.


How does a multipartite virus infects the computer?

It will remain in the computer's memory to infect the hard disk and attacks the drives by modifying the content of applications.

What is a multipartite virus also known for?

It is called a hybrid virus, which can infect program files and system sectors by combining the traits of several types. Once it has established itself, the virus attacks at either level before infecting the other.

What is an example of a multipartite virus?

Ghostball, Flip, and Invader are three common types of multipartite viruses.


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