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What is Discord virus? Investigating a new online fraud

Discord virus is a one more example of the malware distribution through the social network. Just like another case, called Facebook virus, this one is performed in a popular communication platform. There are several differences between viruses spread on Facebook and through Discord, but let’s check all information step-by-step.

Explaining the Discord virus

Discord virus is only the name of a spamming campaign, which takes place on this communication platform. The exact type of malware you can get through these tricks may vary in a very wide range. Nonetheless, the method the fraudsters use to fool you cannot be named original. There are two well-distinguishable ways – thick and gentle one. Thick method is used in massive attacks. The possible victim receives a malicious link with a clickbait text from an unknown user. Because all such messages are suspicious, and Discord additionally shows you the notification that it is dangerous to click the links and open the files received from unknown users. Nonetheless, the most careless people may be caught even in such an easy trap.

Discord virus
The example of virus distribution in Discord

Gentle method requires a server, where the fraudster makes an image of a typical user, interested in a theme of discussion. Then he sends the same message as in the thick method, but adding something attractive for other participants. Exactly, such a distribution requires social engineering skills, as well as time and patience. But the trust level of users is much higher, and in case of large (200+ active participants) server virus distributors may hit the jackpot.

Important details: how the trust is established

You will barely distinguish a malware distributor among other users, when he tries to commit a malicious link stuffing. And it is hard even to predict such a behaviour, because of the specific audience present in Discord. This platform is generally used by gamers, programmers and similar categories of users. They often need to deal with self-made programs, dubious applications or other stuff which often causes a hysterical reaction of antivirus tools. Hence, the requirement to disable the anti-malware software at the moment of program start, or adding this app to white list does not look suspicious.

But there are several moments which are not obvious for a new or not experienced user, but can easily be refuted by advanced ones. A lot of Discord virus cases were conducted with sending a “free patch for Discord which will enable Nitro features without purchasing”. People who know how the Discord subscription model works will surely figure out this fake. Data about the account’s privileges are kept on a server that is handled by the developers of this program. The fact that you have paid for Discord Nitro is approved by the corresponding incoming payment. And there is no way to change this data and enable the feature for your account by cracking the client version of the application.

N.B. There are also several other variants of malware distribution in Discord, you can read about them here.

How dangerous the Discord virus is?

Not as dangerous as, for example, ransomware. This way of malware distribution is not anonymous. It will be very easy for cyber police to track a user who spreads some dangerous malware. However, it is still nothing pleasant in coin miner, spyware, adware1 or any other malicious thing. Be very careful when making use of software which is recommended by an unknown person. Same instructions are for strange links, which are pretending to be downloading ones for some useful software.

  1. More about adware on Wikipedia

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