Cyber-attacks increase in 2019Do you use the Discord chat service?

If you use the Dischord chat service, be advised that malware developers have been using the service to not only host various types of malware but also to use it as a command and control server.

In addition, they are abusing the chat client to force it to perform a variety of malicious behavior.

Unfortunately, this is not a new problem.  Anyone familiar with the chat service knows that it has a long history of being abused.  Although designed primarily as a chat service, Discord also allows its members to use a chat channel where other users can download them.

 Multiple ways for hackers to sow malware

Users can even right-click on a hosted file to get a sharable download link. This is, in practice, one of the ways that hackers are abusing the system.  Of significance, these sharable links work even for non-Discord users, which gives malicious actors a convenient place to stash harmful files to be spread far and wide via email campaigns.

Even more interesting is the fact that the uploader can delete the file inside Discord itself, but the URL can still be used to download it.  This means that although the chat service gives the outward appearance of deleting the file, it still exists on the server. That gives malware developers an incredibly convenient, completely anonymous method of hosting their malware files.

In addition to that, Discord contains a feature called 'Webhooks' that allows third-party applications or websites to send messages to a Discord channel.  When a user creases a Webhook, the server owner will be given a special URL that is used with the Discord API to send messages to a specified channel.  In this case though, if a user has been previously infected by a hacker's malware, this service can be used to exfil collected data directly to the attacker.

Our perspective

All this to say, if you use Discord, beware.  To say that the chat service has problems is an understatement.


As Hill Street Blues' Sgt. Esterhaus always advised: "Hey, let's be careful out there!"


Meanwhile, check out this report

This free executive report may give you insights into how to build your business with safe IT environments: 10 Hidden IT Risks That Might Threaten Your Business and 1 Easy Way to Find Them

The author

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPia Blogs. I am also available on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT SupportI am Denis Wilson, President and Principal Consultant for DWP Information Architects. I help professionals grow their business by building a foundation of rock-solid information solutions for smaller healthcare, insurance, financial, legal, and nonprofits firms in Ventura County and San Fernando Valley. And have created cost-effective IT solutions, for over 20 years, specializing in cybersecurity and regulatory compliance. I am also a published author and speaker, working extensively with a variety of organizations, as well as providing small business technology education programs through business and professional associations. This just in: I will be speaking regularly at California Lutheran University's Center for Nonprofit Leadership starting in September.

Contact me if you would like me to speak at your association.