What Is a Persistence Module?

By Michael Koyan

The term "persistence module," when associated with your computer, can refer to different things, depending on the software and hardware options installed on your system. The different persistence modules are unrelated to each other and may coexist independently on your computer, making it important to determine any file’s origin and threat level before you attempt to access or delete it.

Security

Sometimes, a persistence module is software installed in core computer files that tell the system how to boot up, known as the BIOS, or installed and stored with the rest of your files. Manufacturers typically embed such files -- which aren’t meant to be accessed or altered on a regular basis -- in the computer’s BIOS when it's built. This persistence module doesn’t run unless activated after a theft, in which case it can help you remotely access and operate your computer. Its purpose is to remain functional, even if the system undergoes reformatting or severe alterations.

Settings

The persistence module also can represent settings for your computer’s graphics. In this scenario, the persistence module is a computer process that typically starts when the computer boots up, providing display consistency across different types of software. The module communicates to each program the primary graphical settings that you’ve chosen for your system, allowing for uniformity in resolution and color, for example. The file associated with this type of process is Igfxpers.exe.

Malware

Although the persistence module and the files associated with it can be legitimate, potentially harmful files may attempt to use its name to appear safe and gain access to important folders, due to the sensitive locations in which the files are natively located. The file associated with your computer’s graphics is typically located in your computer’s System32 folder or subfolders within it. If you see it in multiple locations, scanning the file with your computer’s antivirus software will help you determine if it's malware.

Additional Information

The persistence module is named for its ability to maintain its functionality and the features associated with its software through different events. In the case of system protection, if the persistence module isn't already in the computer's BIOS, you must install it in a special partition of the system's hard drive. The computer's security has a greater chance of being compromised if the module is stored there, however, because of the increased possibility that someone could alter or delete the associated files in the less-secure location.