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Zombies are always hostile and will relentlessly attack the player on sight. They have poorer senses of sight and hearing than survivors. Zombies are a significant problem when encountered in groups - alone they are a mere nuisance.
Currently, the zombies in DayZ are fairly slow compared to the zombies from the mod and one can easily jog away from them.
In recent updates the zombie spawn rate has been increased thereby making zombies more of a threat to the players survivability. The chance for a zombie attack to cause bleeding has been reduced, although the player will still lose blood when hit by a zombie.
Civilian Zombies as their name is given can be found in cites towns and villages they are recognized by their civilian clothing.
Military Zombies can be found in military installations they are recognized by their military clothing they take more damage on players and have more health.