Surge in Discord Malware Attacks as 50,000 Malicious Links Uncovered

Cybersecurity researchers at Bitdefender have found a surge in malware and phishing attacks on Discord, noting 50,000 malicious links in the last six months, with US users being the most targeted.

In a recent six-month analysis, cybersecurity firm Bitdefender has uncovered a troubling trend: cybercriminals are using Discord, a popular communication platform, to distribute malware and execute phishing campaigns.

The report, shared with by Bitdefender ahead of publishing on Wednesday 29, 2024, highlights over 50,000 malicious links identified on Discord, showing the platform’s growing vulnerability to cyber threats.

Key Findings

Malware and Phishing Dominate: Malware and phishing links make up a combined 39% of the detected malicious links. These attacks often involve deceitful tactics to trick users into downloading harmful software or providing sensitive information.

US Users Most Targeted: Users in the United States are particularly at risk, accounting for 16.2% of the threats. This makes them the most targeted group by a significant margin. Other countries targeted through malicious campaigns through Discord include France, Romania, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

Via Bitdefender

Fake Offers of Discord Nitro: A common scam involves fake offers of free Discord Nitro, a premium subscription service. Users are lured in by the promise of free upgrades, only to be targeted by phishing or malware attacks.

These findings should not come as a surprise, as Discord has a history of malicious activities. In February of last year, cyber criminals were found exploiting the platform to spread PureCrypter malware, which targeted government organizations and entities in North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

In July 2022, cybersecurity researchers at Intel471 reported that cybercriminals deployed bots on Discord and Telegram to deliver malware capable of stealing user login credentials and financial data.

Nevertheless, the findings from Bitdefender’s report highlight the importance of cybersecurity training and the use of common sense for all Discord users in response to the growing online threat. For more detailed information, you can read the full report here.

Staying Safe on Discord

If you are on Discord, you must watch out for malware and phishing scams. Here are some known yet vital cybersecurity tips to avoid these threats:

  • Be Wary of Free Offers: Be cautious of links or messages offering free Discord Nitro or other suspicious deals. Verify such offers through official channels.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your Discord account, making it harder for attackers to gain access.
  • Use Antivirus Software: Regularly update and run antivirus software to detect and remove any potential threats.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter a suspicious link or message, report it to Discord’s support team to help protect the community.
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