Cyber Security

NordVPN launches Link Checker to protect users from malicious websites

The newest NordVPN product is free to use and available on all browsers and devices

NordVPN, a leading cybersecurity company, launches its new experimental product from the NordLabs platform. Link Checker is a manual URL-checking tool that enables users to examine a website’s safety before visiting by scanning it for different types of malware and getting a notification about whether it is fake or ridden with phishing scams.

“Malicious websites are becoming harder to spot with the naked eye. Well-known typography tricks, such as replacing ‘Amazon’ with ‘Arnason’ in a URL, which have worked for well-known domains, have now been upgraded to suspicious elements hidden under a URL shortener, often making phishing websites look legit. Link Checker is a response to the growing scale and intricacy of phishing attempts online,” says Vykintas Maknickas, head of product strategy at NordVPN.

While exiting the malicious web page without clicking any links may sometimes be enough to avoid jeopardizing the device and sensitive data, at other times, clicking on a malicious URL will open the device to a drive-by download attack, infecting it with malware or botnets that will, encrypt or steal personal data.

Designed as an everyday tool to help users avoid such scenarios, Link Checker scans the domains of the websites the user wants to visit and compares them against a list of websites known to contain scams or malware.

To collect information about malicious websites, Link Checker employs NordVPN’s own machine learning model, which was created to recognize zero-day phishing patterns planted within websites. In addition, this proprietary model uses Nord’s Intelligence Database to identify bogus websites that intend to lure users into phishing scams.

“Among the biggest advantages of the Link Checker is its two-fold nature. Combining proprietary machine learning techniques with the Nord Security Intelligence Database, Link Checker offers one of the most inclusive data sources to detect harmful URLs. In fact, Link Checker incorporates information on 95% of the most popular domains mimicked by cybercriminals, who often use phony variations to disguise online scams or malware,” says Vykintas Maknickas.

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