KADEX 2024 Banner 728x90Bitdefender has released research on a six-month analysis of Discord’s use as an attack vector by cybercriminals. The research is based on 35 million scanned URLs in which 50,000 dangerous links were detected for distributing malware, phishing campaigns and spam, along with detection from untrusted sources.

Bitdefender Discord Countries TargetedHackers often use Discord to push malware, share malicious links, and sometimes host dangerous files. Bitdefender Mobile Security gives its users the power to intercept malicious links and messages from Discord. Discord is one of the large platforms used to spread malware and other malicious campaigns, which is why Bitdefender added support for this platform in the Chat Protection technology that also includes support for WhatsApp, Messages, and Messenger by Meta.

Detecting dangerous messages before the user interacts with them is vital in providing proactive protection, and it allows us to see the bigger picture and form a map of what types of threats use Discord as an attack vector. The use of Discord as a platform for malware and scam campaigns has been a problem for many years, although app developers have been working to mitigate the dangers as much as possible.

One of the most significant changes Discord made was to make links for internally hosted files expire in 24 hours, making it much more difficult to use the platform as a hosting service for malware. But that doesn’t mean that other threats have stopped. The telemetry we collected in the past six months shows that that platform continues to be used for several important scams.

Bitdefender Discord Detected ThreatsOne type of scam involves tricking people to receive free Discord Nitro, a subscription that unlocks various features. Making matters more confusing, some companies offer Nitro as prizes, which is why scams involving Nitro gifts are highly prevalent. Of course, victims will be presented with a fake website and tricked into offering credentials or financial information. Another common scam is about how users can access free Nitro by linking Discord and Steam. The goal, in this case, is to trick people into offering their Steam credentials directly to attackers, opening themselves up to blackmail in order to recover access.

The country distribution is also interesting as it shows where people are targeted the most, with the United States leading the pack by a wide margin. While Discord made it more difficult for attackers to use the service for hosting, other types of scams have become more prevalent. Scammers will always be ready to convince people that their account is in danger or that they have won some imaginary prize, and the gaming industry is especially vulnerable.


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