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Avast warns that teens use Discord to spread malware

How can you mute a server on Discord?

Find servers or create one on Discord.  (photo: Xataka)
Find servers or create one on Discord. (photo: Xataka)

According to a recent investigation by the cybersecurity company Avast, there is a community of children and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18 creating, sharing and spreading computer viruses through Discord servers.

These cyber threats would be Ransomwarewhich are a type of computer system created to steal and kidnap data from users who are later asked for a sum of money in exchange for returning said information taken from their computers and devices.

Although making money is the main interest of these youngsters, they also do it for fun, pranking their teachers and popular Discord players into losing control of their accounts.

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The investigation of the antivirus company also indicates that through the Discord servers, discussion forums were created and the buying and selling of systems was carried out to build malwareas well as tools and tutorials for teens to create their own malware.

Apparently, these cases have been occurring in Europe where those interested in being part of the cybercriminal community have to buy virus creation systems to enter the forums, paying between 5 and 25 euros.

Jan Holamn, a researcher at Avast points out that, “Malware creators provide teens with a cheap and easy way to hack someone and brag about it to their friends, and have even taken it as a way to make money. through the ransomwarecrypto mining and the sale of user data”.

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The types of malware that have been spread through the Discord servers are Lunar, Snatch or Rift and each of them differ in their price depending on the type of tool to create them and the time with access to them.

However, while these teens have targeted adults who could be their teachers, they have also targeted minors, generally targeting both groups with viruses that allow them to steal passwords and private information from computers and accounts.

In addition to data hijacking, this community of cybercriminals have also stolen video game accounts, deleted Fornite and Minecraft player folders, and caused the inadvertent and invasive opening of sexually explicit content.

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But without a doubt, the way in which they have affected their victims the most is with cryptominers, which are a type of malicious program that is silently installed in the processors of the attacked computers to mine cryptocurrencies, reducing the performance of the equipment, overheating it and damaging parts such as battery and CPU parts.

As an aggravating circumstance, those who benefit the most from these criminal activities are the creators of the systems that minors have used to create their own viruses, as Jan Holamn points out, “it can have significant personal and legal consequences, especially if children expose their identities and those of their families online, or if purchased malware actually infects teens’ computers, leaving their families in the dark. vulnerable situation, in this way your data, including online accounts and bank details, can be leaked to cybercriminals”.

How the malware was distributed

According to the investigation, some of the unwary who decided to spread these computer viruses did so through YouTube, where they uploaded videos explaining tricks for video games of great interest to Internet users or how to crack them and download them for free.

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Along with the video, they left a link in the description to download the alleged content, which was actually the channel to infect the computer. As a strategy to build trust among viewers, they were supported by other members of the community who liked the video and left comments indicating that it was authentic.

In addition, the authors of these attacks even warned their audience that sometimes antiviruses might detect the download link as a possible threat, but not pay attention and ignore the alert.

Finally, the investigation also pointed out that these internet communities of adolescents interested in hacking are toxic because they harassed each other and instigated fights that ended up appropriating the code bases of the other member to defame him.

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