Maltese Amoeba


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Maltese Amoeba, Irish


Maltese Amoeba was originally written in Malta, but, strangely enough, it was first found in late 1991 in Ireland - which means that the virus was able to spread from another side of the world to another unnoticed.


Based on the settings of your F-Secure security product, it will either move the file to the quarantine where it cannot spread or cause harm, or remove it.

A False Positive is when a file is incorrectly detected as harmful, usually because its code or behavior resembles known harmful programs. A False Positive will usually be fixed in a subsequent database update without any action needed on your part. If you wish, you may also:

  • Check for the latest database updates

    First check if your F-Secure security program is using the latest updates, then try scanning the file again.

  • Submit a sample

    After checking, if you still believe the file is incorrectly detected, you can submit a sample of it for re-analysis.

    Note: If the file was moved to quarantine, you need to collect the file from quarantine before you can submit it.

  • Exclude a file from further scanning

    If you are certain that the file is safe and want to continue using it, you can exclude it from further scanning by the F-Secure security product.

    Note: You need administrative rights to change the settings.

Technical Details

Maltese Amoeba is a resident virus which infects COM- and EXE-files. Infected files grow by 2504 to 2564 bytes. The time and date stamps of the files will not change.

Maltese Amoeba will activate on 15th of March and on 1st of November. At this time it will overwrite the first sectors on both floppy and hard drives. After that it will leave the following message flashing to the screen and hangs the machine:

To see a world in a grain of sand,
 And a heaven in a flower
 Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
 And eternity in an hour.
 THE VIRUS 16/3/91 		 		

The virus contains also another message, which is never shown:

AMOEBA virus by the Hacker Twins (C) 1991 This is nothing, wait for the release of AMOEBA II-The universal infector, hidden to any eye but ours! Dedicated to the University of Malta-the worst educational system in the universe, and the destroyer of 5X2 years of human life. 	

These texts cannot be seen by looking at the virus code. The virus uses polymorphic encryption, trying to make itself unscannable.