Multipartite Virus: How it Works and How to Protect Yourself 

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Multipartite Virus: How it Works and How to Protect Yourself 

Key Points

  • Multipartite viruses make use of file or boot infectors to affect both the executable file and boot sector in the same instance.
  • They are capable of spreading while the computer is switched on – a quality which sets them apart from other viruses.
  • Because they are rather difficult to eradicate, it is important to make use of high-quality antivirus protection, regularly back up your files, and avoid suspicious emails and links.

The multipartite virus is any computer user’s worst nightmare. The effect and damage caused by this virus can be devastating and traumatic. Once you turn on your computer, the mysterious software takes charge of your PC making it impossible to control. Your screen goes blank, and you get constant notifications of low memory. Sometimes, shutting down your PC becomes impossible. It gets worse when you can’t detach the laptop’s battery. All you can do is stare helplessly at your computer and watch the malicious code change the extension of your documents at warp speed and without your permission. That’s how frustrating the multipartite virus can be.

Executable files and boot sectors are affected by the multipartite virus.

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What is a Multipartite Virus and What Havoc Does it Wreak?

Multipartite virus, also known as Hybrid virus, is a fast-acting computer virus that simultaneously affects both the executable file and boot sector using file infectors or boot infectors. Before the first multipartite virus, computer viruses were classified as either file infectors or boot infectors. But in 1989, the first multipartite virus, Ghostball, was discovered by Fridrik Skulason. The multipartite virus seems to be different from every other virus out there. It can affect both the program/executable files of a system while causing more damage to a computer than any other virus created thus far.

When the virus attacks the boot sector, it latches on to the hard drive that stores the data needed to start the computer. In other words, merely turning on the computer will activate a boot sector virus. As soon as the virus is activated, destructive payloads are launched across the computer program files.

Unlike most other computer viruses, multipartite viruses can spread when the infected computer is turned on. The virus usually spreads by attaching itself to executable files during boot up. This is known as a “boot infector.” This action is perilous since it targets vital portions of the computer’s hard disk.

By integrating elements from both the file infector and the boot infector, multipartite viruses increase their speed of propagating throughout the system. These viruses can infect both files and boot sectors. As a result, the virus increases its chances of spreading and becomes more sensitive to detection. The virus does this to increase the number of places where it may be located.

Multipartite viruses attack computers numerous times, at different times, and must be expelled completely. Failure to do so may result in the system being reinfected if the virus is not destroyed.

How Can You Protect Your Computer from the Multipartite Virus?

Multipartite viruses are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Every day, new variants of the viruses are released and launched into the internet. Sadly, there is no perfect virus protection anywhere. Depending on the type of multipartite virus, some might even reformat the computer’s hard drive and reinfect the computer if the anti-malware software cannot completely remove it. In other words, prevention is better than cure.

Here are some safety and preventive guidelines that can lower your chances of becoming a victim of a multipartite virus attack.

  • Install quality antivirus software: Install quality antivirus or anti-malware programs from reputable and trusted software vendors. This will leave you prepared and ready against any attack targeted toward your device.
  • Regular Backup of Important Files: Backup any important files and documents to the cloud or on external devices. Doing so will guarantee the safety of your data in case your devices are infected. 
  • Don’t click on suspicious links and websites: Before clicking on any link, pay attention to the links or website URLs before clicking on them. Also, whenever you visit a website, always look out for a lock and shield icon on the website. Don’t download freeware from a non-trusted online website.
  • Antivirus and computer software Update: Regularly update your antivirus and other computer programs. Cybercriminals leverage out-of-date software and old operating systems versions to infect your computer. Therefore, it’s good to regularly keep all your computer software, OS, and antivirus software current.
  • Delete unsolicited messages and attachments: Never open or download email attachments from a source you don’t trust. These phishing emails often include malicious links intended to damage your computer.

Symptoms of a Multipartite Virus

Multipartite viruses are known for spreading fast and attacking a computer quickly without being detected. So, how do you know if your computer has been infected with a multipartite virus? 

The first sign is a constant pop-up notification warning about low virtual memory. Once the virus begins to spreads to the system’s executable files, it consumes memory. The operating system will notify you when the computer starts to lose available memory to the virus.

There are six other symptoms to watch out for when dealing with a multipartite virus. They are the following:

  • Continuous change of application and file sizes
  • Modification of Word documents extensions from .docx/.doc to .dot
  • Screen contents look like they are melting
  • Absence of drive controllers in device manager
  • Automatic formatting of hard disk
  • Programs and OS may take a much longer time to load and boot

How to Remove a Multipartite Virus

Multipartite viruses are tough to eradicate because of their unique and hybrid characteristics. There are, however, various methods for removing multipartite malware from your computer.

Method 1: What’s the Best Multipartite Antivirus?

Antivirus software from a trusted vendor can quickly wipe the multipartite virus from a PC. Run a scan with an up to date antivirus software as soon as you discover that this virus has infected your system.

Some of the recommended antivirus software for the multipartite viruses are:


Keep in mind that the Multipartite Virus can infect both files and boot sectors. Therefore, it may not be entirely removed from your computer after a virus scan. In that case, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Create A Bootable Rescue Disc

  • Download your antivirus software bootable package and set it up on an empty disc.
  • Insert an empty disc into the computer’s CD/DVD drive.
  • Search for System Repair Disc on the computer.
  • Select the drive and click Create disc in the system repair disc dialog box.

Step 2: Reboot Computer And Run A Virus Scan

  • Shut down the computer and wait for some minutes before turning it back ON.
  • Once the computer starts booting, navigate to the Setup section.
  • Click the CD/DVD option in the boot order and click save.
  • The computer will boot from the recovery disc.
  • Then the antivirus software will run a virus scan and wipe the Multipartite virus from the system.
  • Restart your computer as soon as the virus is removed.

Learn more about viruses by watching the vide below from YES_info.

Up Next…

Are you interested in learning about other computer viruses? Check out the links provided below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a multipartite virus?

A multipartite virus is a unique type of computer virus that uses either file infectors or boot infectors to attack the boot sector and executable files of a computer system simultaneously.

How does a multipartite virus work?

The multipartite virus attaches itself to the executable files and spreads rapidly during boot up. They do this by integrating elements from the file infector and the boot infector.

How can a multipartite virus be prevented?

Computers can be prevented from the multipartite virus through the following ways:

  1. Installing reliable quality antivirus software
  2. Regular backing up of important files online or on external drives
  3. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and websites
  4. Standard antivirus and computer software updates
  5. Delete unsolicited messages and attachments

How can I get a multipartite Virus?

You can get a multipartite virus when you download an infected file or software from an unknown or untrusted source into your device.

How do I know if my computer is infected?

You can know your computer is infected with a multipartite virus when your computer begins to exhibit some of these signs:

  1. Constant pop-up notification warning about low memory
  2. Continuous change of application and file sizes
  3. Automatic formatting of hard disk
  4. Modification of Word documents extensions from .docx/.doc to .dot
  5. Absence of drive controllers in Device manager
  6. Programs and OS may take a much longer time to load and boot.

Are multipartite viruses dangerous?

The Multipartite virus is dangerous since it targets otherwise vital portions of the computer’s hard disk; DOS executable files and PC BIOS boot sector. The virus also spreads fast and attacks a computer quickly without being detected.

What is a multipartite virus example?

Three common types of multipartite viruses include Ghostball, Invader, and Flip.

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