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Discord malware: what is it and how to remove it?

Discord malware could be exposing your data without you realizing. Learn more about the discord malware virus and its many forms.

Paulius Ilevičius

Paulius Ilevičius

Discord malware: what is it and how to remove it?

What is the Discord Virus?

Discord Virus is the collective term given to the malware programs found on the Discord app or distributed via Discord. Cybercriminals use various techniques to trick Discord users into installing the Discord virus, or Discord malware, onto their device with devastating effects.

The most common type of malware in Discord is the Remote Access Trojan (RAT). Hackers usually distribute them via malicious links. When RATs are injected into your device, they gain administrative rights and can track your actions, steal data and manipulate your device. They can also install additional malware or make your computer part of a botnet for further virus dissemination.

Apart from RAT, you can also get other types of Trojans, spyware, adware, and other forms of malware in Discord.

Discord as stolen data storage

Webhooks allow third parties to send messages to a Discord channel. Hackers can use them to create URLs to send messages. Webhooks are a popular method to withdraw data from a hacked user device. A hacker can sync webhooks with a corrupted system and extract the stolen data via Discord.

What are Discord bots?

Discord bots are AI-driven tools that help you to automate tasks on Discord. For example, they can automatically assign roles, send welcome messages, send auto-replies, and other useful stuff.

Apart from all the good they can do, Discord bots can also spread malware. For example, they can blast messages with malicious links to various users. So don't trust bots you don't recognize and cautiously use those created by other users. Make sure the bot you use is reliable and won't infect your device or those of others.

How the Discord virus can infect your device

There are different forms of Discord malware, and each has its own way of spreading and infecting your devices.

1. Corrupted Discord installation file

Users can modify their Discord Javascript files. If a cybercriminal gains user permission, they can add malicious code to Discord's client files. Once users launch the file, they also execute the code. The hacker can then access the user's Discord data.

This attack is particularly difficult to detect. Antivirus software will probably not recognize the corrupt code. However, if Discord detects that someone modified the files while it's updating, it warns the user and asks whether to continue to run the client. You can also check files manually for suspicious additions. You can find lots of info online on what to look for.

Spidey Bot is one of the most common type of corrupted Discord file. One way to check whether you have it is by opening the %AppData%\Discord\[version]\modules\discord_modules\index.js and %AppData%\Discord\[version]\modules\discord_desktop_core\index.js folders and checking how many lines of code they have. If there is more than one line, then the files have been compromised. At this point, however, the only remedy is to reinstall Discord and secure your Discord account or device.

Only download Discord from official sources or websites. This will minimize the possibility of getting a copy of Discord with malicious code.

2. Through Discord itself

As with most social apps, Discord can also be a source for malware. Even though the filtering of malicious files and warning users if they encounter one, improve Discord security, the platform does not recognize all of them – especially new ones.

Users may also upload a file to Discord and then use its link to share it externally. Even users with no Discord account can download it. Moreover, even if someone deletes the file from Discord or removed their account, the platform still stores it in its content delivery network. So no one can trace the original uploader of file with just a Discord download URL.

You can also encounter more typical social engineering techniques here such as phishing links via direct messages, bait-and-switch ads, etc.

3. Other sources

Like all malware, Discord viruses thrive on the web. Your device can be infected by them via malicious links, downloads, ads, phishing emails, or instant messages. Check the below-mentioned security measures to find out how to mitigate all these risks.

How to remove Discord malware from your device

You need to use third-party antivirus software to get rid of Discord malware. Such software can hide deep in your system, so just deleting the app or suspicious files may not help. You should get reliable anti-malware software, perform a full system scan, and root out all the malicious files. Make sure to choose a premium antivirus that doesn't collect your data and functions properly.

NordVPN's Threat Protection tool can also help you fend off potential threats. It can identify malware-ridden files you might be downloading, stop you from landing on malicious pages, and block trackers and ads. However, TP is a prevention tool — it won't save you from viruses that are already on your device.

If the issue lies in the compromised Discord code, you should manually uninstall the app. Just follow the usual uninstallation procedure as with other apps. Afterwards, you can reinstall the app.

How to remove Discord malware from your browser

Discord malware can also reach your system through malicious browser extensions that infiltrate your browser via various unofficial sites. They can clutter your browser with malicious ads and redirect you to dodgy websites.

If this happens, you should restore your browser to its default settings. In most popular browsers, you should check the “Settings” section and look for “Reset settings,” “Restore settings to Defaults,” “Restore defaults,” or similarly named sections.

If you use Safari, you should clear your history and cache. Here's how to do it:

1. Open Safari and press “Safari” at the top-left corner.

How to delete history and cache on Safari

2. Choose “Clear history.”

How to delete history and cache on Safari

3. Select “All history.”

How to delete history and cache on Safari

4. Click “Clear history” to confirm.

How to delete history and cache on Safari

5. Now click the same “Safari” button again.

How to delete history and cache on Safari

6. Choose “Preferences.”

How to delete history and cache on Safari

7. Go to “Privacy” and choose “Manage website data.”

How to delete history and cache on Safari

8. Click “Remove all.”

How to delete history and cache on Safari

9. Now, in the same “Preferences” window, go to the “Extensions” tab and remove all the suspicious add-ons.

How to delete history and cache on Safari

10. In the “Advanced” bar, tick “Show Develop menu in menu bar.”

How to delete history and cache on Safari

11. Now, choose the “Develop” button in the top-left corner and click “Empty caches.”

How to delete history and cache on Safari

How to avoid Discord malware

Here are a few tips on how to mitigate the Discord risks:

  • Avoid opening links and attachments from sources you don't know or trust.
  • Don't download apps from dodgy unofficial sources. Use only official sites to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • Immediately scan your system and reinstall Discord if you notice something suspicious.
  • Regularly update your antivirus software.
  • Use NordVPN. It will encrypt your traffic and protect you from snoopers. Also, the Threat Protection feature, mentioned above, will help you to avoid malware.
  • Regularly update your other software. A lot of viruses can do more damage to outdated apps than they can to those with the newest security features.
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Is Discord safe?

Discord is safe if you use it wisely with all the privacy precautions. As with many other communication tools, some users try to exploit Discord for ill reasons. You should:

  • Avoid suspicious links and attachments.
  • Be cautious when communicating with strangers.
  • Don't give your personal data to people you don't completely trust.
  • Only get Discord, its updates, and add-ons from official sources.
  • Tweak your settings for maximum privacy.

Discord is very popular among teenagers, so you should instruct your kids to use it wisely. We also recommend the following privacy settings for your and your kids' safety. On the “Privacy & Safety Settings,” that you can find in the “Preferences” section, you should:

1. Choose “Keep me safe” under “Safe direct messaging” to have messages with explicit media content scanned and deleted.

How to stay safe on Discord

2. Turn the “Allow direct messages from server members” section to “Off.” Then server members who are not your friends won't be able to send you messages.

How to stay safe on Discord

3. Turn the “Allow access to age-restricted servers on iOS” to “Off.” This will prevent users from being able to join NSFW servers on iOS.

How to stay safe on Discord

4. In the “Who can send you a friend request” section, choose “Off (for Everyone, Friends of Friends, and Server Members).” This will disallow people you don't know to add you on Discord.

How to stay safe on Discord

You should also carefully monitor your children's activities because Discord can be the source of cyberbullying or other predatory activities. Moreover, extremist groups use Discord to enroll news members and communicate with them.

Discord users should encourage transparency and accountability within their community. NordVPN can help you here.

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Paulius Ilevičius
Paulius Ilevičius Paulius Ilevičius
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Paulius Ilevičius is a technology and art enthusiast who is always eager to explore the most up-to-date issues in cybersec and internet freedom. He is always in search for new and unexplored angles to share with his readers.