Have you heard of direct action computer viruses? Like all viruses — both computer and biological — they have the ability to self-replicate. Self-replication is what allows viruses to spread while infesting other hosts. Direct action computer viruses, however, are distinguished from all other types of computer viruses by being attached to an executable file. For a better understanding of direct action computer viruses and how they work, keep reading.

Overview of Direct Action Computer Viruses

A direct action computer virus is a class of self-replicating malware that’s attached to an executable file. They are typically embedded in otherwise legitimate programs that require execution to run. After downloading and executing an infected program, the direct action computer virus will spread.

How Direct Action Computer Viruses Work

The defining characteristic of direct action computer viruses is their attachment to an executable file. Executable files are those in programs. When you open or run an executable file, your computer will respond by carrying out the file’s included instructions.

While most executable files are harmless, others may contain malware, including direct action computer viruses. Direct action computer viruses are those found within executable files. Hackers add them to executable files in hopes of victims downloading and executing them.

The Impact of Direct Action Computer Viruses

If you open or run an executable file containing a direct action computer virus, it may spread. As previously mentioned, all viruses can spread. They spread through self-replication, which is essentially what distinguishes viruses from other types of malware. Direct action computer viruses, though, typically only spread when the file in which they are contained is executed. As long as you don’t execute the file, it shouldn’t spread to other parts of your computer or your network.

Upon executing a direct action virus, it will self-replicate. Self-replication means that it will spread. Some direct action viruses are only designed to spread to other files on the same computer that they infect, whereas others can spread to other computers on the same network. Regardless, they can’t spread on their own. They require intervention in the form of a direct action — running the executable file — to spread.

In Conclusion

A virus is known as “direct action” if it’s attached to an executable file that requires opening or running in order to spread. Running the executable file is a direct action. When you run the executable file containing a direct action virus, it will spread while simultaneously carrying out its malicious activities.

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