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5.4. Swapping Viruses

Another exotic technique in computer virus writing relies on loading a small piece of virus code actively into memory all the time. This small piece of code might be a hook event. Whenever the hook event is triggered, the virus loads a segment of viral code from the disk and infects a new object. After that, the virus again clears the loaded segment from memory.

Although it appears that there are certain advantages to this technique, such as the fact that the virus consumes less physical memory and can keep its code encrypted in files most of the time, there are also many disadvantagesfor instance, the possibility of introducing heavily increased disk activity that makes it much easier to spot the attack.

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