Have you ever noticed strange activity on your device while using Discord? Pop-up ads? Slow performance? Password changes you didn‘t make? Your system may have been infected with malware distributed through the platform. Not to worry – with this comprehensive guide, you‘ll learn how to detect, eliminate, and prevent Discord malware.
Discord malware refers to any harmful software program cybercriminals spread using the popular chat app. Information stealers, ransomware, spyware – hackers are leveraging Discord more and more to infect victims‘ computers and mobile devices.
In this guide, you‘ll learn:
- The most common malware infecting Discord users
- Expert tips for identifying a malware attack
- Step-by-step removal guides for Windows, Mac, Android
- How to protect yourself from future Discord malware
Let‘s get started removing those pesky infections!
Dissecting The Discord Malware Threat Landscape
Cybersecurity researchers have identified a wide array of malware strains spreading through Discord channels:
Info stealers like Anubis and RedLine are designed to harvest sensitive data like login credentials, financial information, and files. Anubis detections spiked 330% on Discord in 2021.
Spyware hides on infected devices to record keystrokes, messages, webcam footage and more. PredatorTheThief and Vidar are examples of spyware affecting Discord users.
Ransomware is one of the most disruptive malware types. It encrypts files until the victim pays a ransom to the hackers. Discord has distributed ransomware like CryptBot.
Adware bombard users with unwanted pop-up advertisements and can be tricky to remove. Discord adware increased 650% last year.
Some malware secretly uses system resources to mine cryptocurrency. Hackers have leveraged Discord to spread miners like LemonDuck.
Trojans disguise themselves as legitimate programs and are commonly distributed via Discord download links. One example is Triada which gave hackers backdoor device access.
As you can see, Discord has become a fruitful vector for all types of malware as its popularity exploded in recent years. Next, let‘s explore how to know if your device has been infected.
Warning Signs of a Discord Malware Attack
Discord malware can be sneaky, but with vigilance you can detect an infection before major harm is done. Watch for these common red flags:
- Unexpected pop-up ads, browser redirects
- New suspicious processes running
- Antivirus detection alerts
- Degraded system/browser performance
- Unusual spikes in network traffic
- Discord account sending strange messages
- Files being encrypted against your will
- Credentials compromised
- General system instability/crashes
If you notice any of those symptoms, disconnect your device from the internet immediately and move onto malware removal steps before more damage can be done.
Eliminating Discord Malware on Windows
Once you‘ve confirmed a malware infection from Discord on your Windows PC, here are the steps to destroy it completely:
Step 1: Isolate the Threat
Disconnect your PC from the internet to stop the malware from spreading or communicating with command servers.
Step 2: Boot in Safe Mode
Restart your computer and boot into Safe Mode. This prevents other processes from interfering with malware elimination.
Step 3: Install Antivirus Software
Download and install a reputable antivirus program like Bitdefender or Malwarebytes to scan your system. Perform a full scan then delete anything suspicious uncovered.
Step 4: Use Windows Security
Open Windows Security and run a full antivirus scan with the built-in Microsoft protection. Remove any threats detected.
Step 5: Uninstall Discord
Use the Control Panel to completely uninstall the Discord application from your computer.
Step 6: Delete Discord Files
Manually delete any remaining Discord files/folders lingering on your system.
Step 7: Clear Browser Data
Wipe any cached/temporary files, browsing history, cookies and other potential malware artifacts.
Step 8: Reset Browser Settings
If your browser was hijacked, reset settings to default to undo malware changes.
Step 9: Reconnect and Reboot
Once cleaning steps are complete, reconnect to the internet and restart your PC normally.
Step 10: Change Discord Credentials
From a clean device, change your Discord password and enable two-factor authentication.
Follow those steps carefully, and the malware will be eliminated from your Windows machine.
Annihilating Discord Malware on Mac
Mac users should follow this process for obliterating Discord malware:
Step 1: Disconnect Internet
Unplug ethernet and disconnect Wi-Fi to isolate the infection.
Step 2: Close Suspicious Processes
Use Activity Monitor to locate and quit any shady processes running.
Step 3: Run Antivirus Scan
Install antivirus like Bitdefender or Malwarebytes and perform a full system scan. Remove anything suspicious uncovered.
Step 4: Trash Discord
In Finder, navigate to Applications and drag the Discord app to the Trash.
Step 5: Empty Trash
Use the Finder menu to completely empty the Trash containing the deleted Discord app.
Step 6: Clear Caches and Restart
Force-empty system caches via Finder, then restart your Mac.
Step 7: Change Discord Credentials
From a clean device, update your Discord password and turn on two-factor authentication.
Repeat those steps carefully to eliminate all traces of Discord malware on your Mac.
Removing Discord Malware from Android
If your Android device has been compromised by Discord malware, use this process for removal:
Step 1: Uninstall Discord
Open Settings > Apps, locate Discord, and tap Uninstall. Confirm removal.
Step 2: Download Antivirus App
Get a trusted Android antivirus app like Bitdefender or Norton from the Play Store.
Step 3: Perform Antivirus Scan
Run a full system scan with the antivirus and delete anything suspicious uncovered.
Step 4: Clear Browser Data
Wipe browser history, caches, temporary files and other potential malware artifacts.
Step 5: Reinstall Discord from Play Store
With Wi-Fi connected, install Discord directly from the official Google Play store.
Step 6: Change Discord Credentials
Once Discord is reinstalled, change your password and enable two-factor authentication.
Following those steps will help you nuke that Android Discord malware for good!
Removing Discord Malware from iPhone
Lastly, if your iPhone has been infected via Discord, use this process to obliterate the malware:
Step 1: Delete Discord App
Open Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Find Discord, then tap Delete App and confirm removal.
Step 2: Download Antivirus
Get a reputable iOS antivirus app from the App Store like Norton or Bitdefender.
Step 3: Run Antivirus Scan
Perform a full system scan with the antivirus and remove any threats detected.
Step 4: Clear Safari History/Data
In Settings > Safari, clear history, caches, cookies and website data.
Step 5: Reinstall Discord from App Store
With Wi-Fi on, install Discord directly from the official App Store.
Step 6: Change Discord Credentials
Once reinstalled, update your Discord password and enable two-factor authentication.
By carefully following those steps, that pesky iPhone Discord malware will be terminated.
Protecting Yourself from Future Discord Malware Attacks
Removing a Discord malware infection is just one part of the battle. You also need to implement precautions to avoid getting hit again in the future:
- Install antivirus software – Use a reputable antivirus app to detect threats.
- Avoid suspicious links/files – Don‘t open anything sketchy sent on Discord.
- Update your software – Maintain the latest security patches.
- Enable two-factor authentication – Adds an extra account security layer.
- Change passwords frequently – Use long, complex passwords.
- Back up your data – Allows restoring files after an attack.
- Be wary of social engineering – Don‘t fall for "free gift" scams.
- Monitor your Discord activity – Watch for suspicious messages sent from your account.
With vigilance and proper security protocols, you can keep that Discord malware away for good. Don‘t become another victim!
Discord malware is definitely on the rise, but with this guide equipping you with removal tips and prevention best practices, you can stay secure. If your device becomes infected, isolate the threat immediately and systematically eliminate all traces of the attacker. Stop cybercriminals dead in their tracks!
Safe chatting! Let me know if you have any other questions.