Discord is switching to temporary links to stop malware

Discord logo on a phone next to Xbox controller
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Diego Thomazini)

Discord has announced plans to move to temporary file links by the end of 2023 in a move designed to reduce the spread of malware on the platform.

The instant messaging platform told Bleeping Computer that it will be doing so to “create a safer and more secure experience for users.”

While Discord users won’t be affected by the links, which will automatically refresh every 24 hours, those using the links outside of the platform won’t be able to do so once they expire, one day after being created.

Discord reveals new malware-beating plan

Discord told Bleeping Computer that the change “will help our safety team restrict access to flagged content, and generally reduce the amount of malware distributed using our CDN.”

The platform’s content delivery network is often abused, with threat actors choosing it to host malware. When the change comes into play across the network, Discord will effectively render an end to long-term hosting.

Later this year, links will be given a signature and will only remain valid under the expiration timestamp. Discord is set to refer to its temporary link scheme as ‘authentication enforcement’.

A spokesperson for the network added: “To access the attachment CDN link after the link expires, your app will need to fetch a new CDN URL. The API will automatically return valid, non-expired URLs when you access resources that contain an attachment CDN URL, like when retrieving a message.”

The changes are designed to have minimal impact when it comes to using Discord, and end users are unlikely to notice a difference from within the app, with the exception of links shared outside of the app, which will expire within 24 hours of being created.

Discord said that developers may see “minimal impact” so has committed to working with them to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Via Bleeping Computer

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