Child Predators Using Discord For Sextortion, Abductions

New Delhi: Discord, a popular chatting platform among teens, has been used by some adults in hidden communities and chat rooms to prepare children for kidnapping, trading child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and extorting minors is going, whom they trick into sending nude pictures. ,

According to NBC News, over the past six years, about 35 cases of adults being prosecuted for “kidnapping, grooming or sexual assault” have been identified that allegedly involved Discord communications.

Of those, at least 15 have resulted in guilty pleas or verdicts, with “many more” awaiting trial. Those figures only include cases that were reported, investigated and prosecuted, all of which present significant challenges for victims and their advocates.

“What we see is only the tip of the iceberg,” said Stephen Sawyer, director of tiplines at the Canadian Center for Child Protection (C3P).

In addition, reports say a teenager was taken across state borders in March, raped and found locked in a backyard shed after she had been groomed on Discord for months. In another case, a 22-year-old man kidnapped a 12-year-old girl after meeting her over a video game and grooming her on Discord, according to prosecutors.

The report identified an additional 165 cases, including four crime rings, that accused adults of using the platform to transmit or receive CSAM via Discord or allegedly using the platform to send sexually graphic images of themselves to children. Was prosecuted for using, also known as sextortion.

Furthermore, the report notes that online is not the only technology platform tackling the persistent problem of child abuse, as several reports from the past year suggest. CSAM reports on Discord increased by 474 percent from 2021 to 2022, according to an analysis of the report provided to the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

According to NCMEC Senior Vice President John Sheehan, child exploitation and abuse content has risen exponentially on Discord. Sheehan was quoted as saying, “There is an issue of child abuse on the platform. It’s undeniable.” Launched in 2015, Discord quickly emerged as a hub for online gamers and teenagers, and is now used by more than 150 million people globally. Last month, Discord notified users of a data breach after a third-party support agent’s account was compromised.

According to BleepingComputer, the security breach compromised the agent’s support ticket queue, exposing users’ email addresses, messages exchanged with Discord support, and any attachments sent as part of tickets. . In April, cyber-security researchers discovered a new malware distributed on Discord, which has more than 300 million active users.

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