Discord Virus: How to Protect Yourself
If you like to chat with your friends or teammates in Discord, it’s worth keeping a close eye on your security. The thing is that the number of cyberattacks targeted at this social media platform has increased tremendously. According to a recent Sophos study, hackers are striving to spread different types of malware, targeting over 150 million active Discord users.
Sounds alarming? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading this article to find out what Discord malware is, how to remove it, and what you can do to prevent such threats.
What is Discord malware?
Let’s start with the basics and define Discord viruses.
Discord malware is any kind of virus or other malicious activity detected on the Discord application or distributed through this platform. There are numerous types of malware that may infect Discord users’ devices, including Remote Access Trojans (RAT), spyware, and adware. Let’s take a closer look at these viruses.
- Remote Access Trojan (RAT) is malware spread by malicious links in Discord messages. With the help of RAT, hackers get remote control over your device. As a result, they can steal sensitive data, monitor your activities, and even spy on your phone.
- Spyware hides in your device’s system once it reaches you via the Discord app. It’s extremely difficult to detect such malware, as it doesn’t reveal itself while secretly stealing your private data.
- Adware is mostly distributed via intrusive ads and infected pop-ups. Such viruses get to your device once you accidentally click on such an ad.
As you see, there are many different types of Discord malware attacks, as well as malicious techniques hackers adopt to spread them. Let’s look at the most common distribution approaches in more detail.
How is Discord malware distributed?
Whether you’re using Discord to communicate with your friends or participate in a gaming or developer community, malicious actors may trick you and spread malware in many ways. In particular, some recent surveys show a very disturbing trend. According to SecurityBrief research, minors aged 11-18 use the Discord platform to distribute malware for cash. The types of malware spread by teens vary, from credential theft and crypto mining to ransomware.
So what should you watch out for? Let’s find out.
One of the most typical social engineering threats spread within communication apps like Discord is the distribution of malicious links. For example, phishing campaigns involve messages users get from their friends or strangers. Such a message may look completely innocent and encourage you to click on the provided link. However, once you open it, your device will get infected with malware striving to compromise your private data, like Discord credentials.
Such attacks mostly target various communities, such as gamers and crypto traders. The example below shows how malicious actors trick users with a crypto scam.
Not only links, but also attached files in Discord can be dangerous. Hackers often spread viruses by encouraging users to download files infected with viruses. Just like a malicious link, such a file may not look harmful or suspicious. But it likely contains a specific type of malware striving to get to your device.
Here is an example of a recent “Try my game” Discord scam persuading users to download an infected file.
Modified installation files
Discord bots automate and streamline many processes in the app. In particular, this artificial intelligence feature bans platform offenders, welcomes new members, moderates chats, and more. However, you should also be aware of the Discord bots’ dark side. Hackers often use this technology to spread malicious content, including phishing links, file attachments, or else. For instance, the most famous Discord Spidey Bot has infected over 250 million users worldwide. So it’s worth being careful with this Discord feature and avoiding messages sent by unidentified bots.
However, if you didn’t manage to protect yourself against a Discord virus, do not despair. Let’s look at the most effective ways to remove Discord malware from your device or web browser.
How to get rid of Discord viruses?
There are several ways to eliminate Discord viruses. It will be easier if you know where exactly the virus is hiding. However, as it can be quite challenging to detect, it’s better to take all steps listed below.
How to remove Discord viruses from your device?
Discord malware is equally harmful to all operating systems. Here is how you can remove it from your Windows or macOS device.
Step 1. Get strong antivirus software
Powerful antivirus software is a must because such a tool will help you conduct a Discord malware check, detect viruses, and eliminate risks before they become critical. If you stick to this approach, follow these simple steps:
- Choose and install a premium antivirus tool
- Open antivirus and scan your Windows or macOS system
- Complete the guidelines provided by your antivirus
Step 2. Uninstall the Discord app manually
- Open your PC settings and go to the Apps section
- Find the Discord app and click on the Uninstall button
- Reinstall the app from the legitimate Discord website
- Open Finder and select the Applications section
- Find the Discord app and move it to the Trash
- Enter your password and empty the Trash
- Reinstall the app from the official Discord website
How to remove Discord viruses from your browser?
Removing Discord malware from your PC may not be enough since your browser can be infected as well. Here’s how to remove viruses from Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.
Chrome, Edge, or Firefox
Let’s consider getting rid of Discord malware on Google Chrome. Note that the trick is also suitable for Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox.
- Open Google Chrome settings and head to the Advanced section
- Find the Reset settings section
- Choose the Restore settings to their original defaults option
- Reset settings
You can do the same in Firefox by finding Settings > Home > Restore defaults.
In Microsoft Edge, go to Settings > Reset Settings > Restore settings to their default values.
Here’s how to remove a Discord virus from your Safari browser.
- Go to the Safari menu, find Clear History > All history and confirm the action
- Enter the Safari menu once again and open Preferences
- Choose the Privacy section and click on Manage website data > Remove all
- Remove all distrustful components from the Extensions section
- In the Advanced section, select the Show Develop menu in menu bar option
- Now, find the Develop button and select the Empty Caches option
How to prevent a Discord cyber attack?
If you’re an active Discord user, do not wait until malware infects your device. Here are several methods to keep yourself away from Discord viruses.
1. Install Discord from the official website
Cybercriminals often use unofficial sites to clone legitimate software and trick users into installing apps infected with malware. To mitigate the risk of getting a malicious Discord application, download it only from the official website.
2. Do not click on suspicious links
As mentioned above, malicious actors can distribute viruses by hijacking social accounts or applying social engineering techniques and phishing attacks. So, if you get a suspicious message, even from a person you know, think twice before clicking any link.
3. Update your software
Outdated software is more vulnerable to viruses as it may lack some essential security features. That’s why don’t forget to regularly update your apps, operating system, and antivirus programs.
4. Use a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the most effective prevention measures against malware. Make sure you have one switched on when surfing the web or communicating via social apps like Discord. A VPN doesn’t only hide your IP address, making your online presence anonymous, but also helps you stay away from potentially harmful sites, links, and pop-ups. On top of that, a virtual private network will protect your connection wherever you are, even when using public WiFi.
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What is malware?
Malware is a file, code, or software program designed with malicious intent. Mostly, it strives to infect, harm, or spy on a device, network, or service. Some of the most widespread malware types are computer viruses, Trojan horses, warms, ransomware, spyware, adware, and more. Malware can be distributed via email links or attachments, embedded code, infected applications, or malicious websites.
How to remove Discord malware?
To remove Discord malware from your device, you can take the following actions:
- Install powerful antivirus software
- Remove and reinstall Discord on your device
To get rid of Discord viruses in your web browser, you should either restore browser settings to the original defaults (Chrome, Edge, Firefox) or remove all website data and empty caches (Safari). For more information, read this article.
Is Discord a safe app?
The Discord app is safe to use if you stick to the proper privacy settings. However, as with any other communication service, Discord can pose certain cyber threats. In particular, some of the most common malware in Discord is Remote Access Trojan (RAT), spyware, and adware. To mitigate those risks, you should follow specific security practices described in this article.