Bots are an integral part of the complete Discord experience, but you might have already wondered if all of these bots are actually safe. Can Discord bots actually hack you or your Discord server? Most experts and users would agree that bots can not do such a thing, but there has definitely been an increase in Discord malware and adware lately, something that was noticed by security experts. Let’s take a look at the dangers of Discord bots, and how to combat malware and possible viruses for your computer or smartphone.
Is Discord used to hack people and spread malware?
The harsh reality is that any platform with a considerable amount of users is bound to attract the wrong kind of people sooner rather than later. With over 140 million active monthly users, Discord is a prime target for cybercriminals and hackers. And since it’s installed on so many devices, these people with malicious intent will definitely try to spread malware and do other malicious things to its users.
According to research from NordVPN, a company that focuses on internet security and rerouting customers’ traffic through its own servers to protect them and their privacy, malware is absolutely prevalent on Discord.
Hackers usually try to infect Discord users with something called Remote Access Trojans, or RATs, for short. You might have heard about trojan horses back when computer viruses still made the mainstream news, and it’s pretty much the same thing, only refined for this era. RATs, if they are successfully deployed, can sometimes even gain full control over your computer. This means that they can access your files (or delete them), ask for a ransom (ransomware is very common, see the WannaCry case, for example) but one of the most popular things that happen to RAT-infected systems is that your system gets added to a botnet. Systems in this botnet are manipulated on a massive scale to spread the virus even further and are sometimes also used to attack other services or websites via a Direct Denial of Service (DDOS) attack.
Are Discord bots dangerous and can they hack you?
No, Discord bots are not dangerous, but user caution is most definitely advised. For example, the administrators of a Discord server have the responsibility to make sure that all of the bots are set up in a proper way. We’ve seen cases where entire servers were being deleted because a faulty and erroneous bot decided to glitch out. This can’t possibly happen if you only give appropriate rights to the Discord bots: they should never be able to create or delete channels, for example. This is what we call “overpowered permissions”, and this is a perfect example of why you should take a close look at your Discord bots during the installation and only give them the permission they truly require to operate.
Beware of suspicious links and phishing
It’s best to wary of any link you come across Discord unless you know that the bot has an impeccable reputation. If you come across a bot that spits out weird and shady links or seems to spam as many users as possible, you know that something isn’t right. Don’t click suspicious links or downloads that you receive through Discord, whether it was sent to you in a private message or through a Discord bot. Spamming and sending suspicious links are two things that definitely happen on Discord since it is so popular.
How to prevent Discord bots from hacking you
- Never, ever, click a link from somebody (or a bot) that you can not trust or do not know about – you’re asking for danger.
- Always make sure that your computer system is fully updated, including your anti-virus and anti-malware suite.
- If your internet access provider or your router provides a safety filter for internet traffic, it probably isn’t a bad idea to turn it on and try to block phishing links. No filter is ever a hundred percent effective, but it can definitely help.
- Notice that something weird is going on on your system? Does it feel slow, is it sending through a lot of internet traffic or do you just notice your browser or applications acting strange? Do a virus scan immediately.
Can Discord bots hack you on an iPhone or Android smartphone?
Luckily, viruses and malware seem to be a lot less popular on iPhones and iPad, simply because the iOS software is really closed off to third-party applications. However, you can still be misdirected towards a malicious website where there is intent to steal your information (a fake bank website, for example, this is called phishing). But, you don’t have to worry about viruses getting on your iPhone. There isn’t even a virus scanner on iOS, so you don’t need to worry.
It’s a little bit different for Android smartphones. Of course, phishing still applies here, just like with iOS. However, the enhanced security layer for Android smartphones can be disabled if the user chooses to do so. You could potentially install malware hidden in .apk files (Android Packages) that you install on your phone. Never install .apk files from sources you do not trust. Malware on Android is present, and if your phone gets infected, you could be dealing with the loss of data, spreading the virus to your contacts, or adding your telephone into a botnet.
Discord bots can’t really hack their way into a system unless the user gives them too many permissions on Discord or clicks on suspicious links or files. Keep your phone and computer updated and don’t click any messages you don’t trust. Common sense really goes a long way when it comes to hacking, malware, adware, and phishing on Discord.