With the rise of COVID-19 there was also an explosion in the popularity of different online communication platforms, such as Discord, Slack and Zoom. These platforms help users to communicate and maintain personal ties with friends amidst a global pandemic. However, as these platforms grow in popularity, there will be a rise in cybercriminals trying to use them for malicious purposes. In fact, there have been reports of individuals using Discord to distribute malware to unsuspecting victims.
Discord is a free voice, video and text chat platform that can be used to create communities and chat with anyone worldwide. Discord users are able to create servers where they can then invite their friends to stay in touch and share messages, videos and more. Users are able to use video calling and voice features to also stay in touch with their friends.
As soon as any platform rises in popularity, cybercriminals are quick to jump onto the trend and use it for their own nefarious purposes. In this case, many cybercriminals are using Discord to send links that look trustworthy but will actually install malware onto the victim’s devices. Due to its recent popularity, individuals are much more likely to click onto Discord links since many individuals are using them to invite their friends and other users onto their private servers. In other reports, cybercriminals have actually integrated Discord into their malware to steal data from victims. In other cases, the hackers are abusing Discord’s file hosting services to upload seemingly innocent files that will then download malware onto the victim’s device once it has been clicked on.
The use of Discord to spread malware is only on the rise as security firms have noticed the amount of malware being spread doubling. Cybercriminals are spreading different forms of malware, such as ransomware and spyware, in the form of fake video game links embedded in Discord links.
Beyond just embedding malware, these hackers are also using other means to steal users’ profiles and identities. Cybercriminals have found a means to steal Discord authentication tokens from users’ computers which allows them to impersonate the users on Discord - this then allows them to spread more malware links and files.
Discord released a statement stating that the company does aim to scan for malware in files that are hosted on the platform and actively works to remove malware that is reported to it by users or security researchers. This company is doing its best to effectively scan files for signs of malware and remove them as quickly as they can.
The best practice with all applications and platforms is to ensure that they are always up to date, if there are any security vulnerabilities or holes the company will release updates to help patch them and keep you safe. If you do not update your devices regularly, hackers may take advantage of any existing vulnerabilities to infiltrate your devices.
Additionally, it is important to keep yourself aware and educated on malware and the different ways cybercriminals try to steal your information. By educating yourself on phishing, ransomware, scareware, and more, you are helping to keep yourself safe from these scams. Make sure that you always think before you click on any third party or suspicious links.
If you think that you have clicked on a malicious link then it is important for you to act as soon as you can. Look for a third party company that specializes in cybersecurity to help you remove the malware and install security measures to help keep yourself and your data well-protected.
The best way to keep your devices safe is to implement a security system to protect your devices. Here at CyberUnit we offer all types of protection, from mobile to computer protection plans. We offer customized security plans for individuals and businesses, at a price that’s right for you. We can also help you to check if your devices have been compromised. Contact us today to learn more.