Discord chat app detection by Rohde & Schwarz DPI software ensures optimised network usage

Rohde & Schwarz, leading vendor of deep packet inspection (DPI) software, today announced the release of a new Discord application classification feature in its DPI engine R&S PACE 2. The OEM software solution is now able to reliably detect and classify the chat application Discord in network traffic in real time.

Discord is a modern voice and text chat app, similar to programs such as Skype or TeamSpeak, designed specifically for gaming communities. The communication platform has seen tremendous growth over the past year with currently around 130 million registered users worldwide. The number of daily active users has increased to 19 million from 8.9 million in 2017. However, its ascent to the most popular online communication tool for gamers has resulted in adverse effects on network utilisation and performance. Network operators may face problems when their efforts to keep applications running fast and reliably clash with latency, congestion, packet loss and jitter. Network operators need to understand how the application and its high number of users consume bandwidth resources in order to adapt their service. They need to define traffic management policies to control application performance according to their business priorities – making sure their network services continue to meet user expectations.

Real-time application visibility provided by the DPI engine R&S PACE 2 enables network analytics and traffic management vendors to see the impact of Discord on their networks. By embedding R&S PACE 2, network operators obtain deep insight into Discord traffic flows that helps them analyse, control, prioritise and manage Discord traffic.

Additionally, network security vendors are now able to accurately and reliably identify unusual Discord network activities that might indicate malicious behaviour. A Discord attack in 2017 has shown that cybercriminals can find ways to abuse built-in features of the chat platform — in this case, its application programming interface (API) was used to obtain user credentials for the famous online game ROBLOX in order to steal large sums of money.

“Security teams need application visibility to look at patterns in the data. A deeper level of traffic inspection is important to detect unusual activity. The new Discord detection functionality enables network security solutions to distinguish legitimate use of the chat app from malicious activity,” says Alexander Müller, senior product manager DPI at Rohde & Schwarz.

The DPI software library R&S PACE 2 provides powerful and reliable detection and classification of thousands of applications and protocols by combining deep packet inspection and behavioural traffic analysis – regardless of whether the protocols use advanced obfuscation, port-hopping techniques or encryption. DPI is needed at all points in the network architecture where intelligent decisions need to be made based on the nature of IP traffic, whether it is wanted or unwanted, good or malicious traffic.


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