NordVPN launches free malicious file checking service that anyone can use — get it now to keep you safe online

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The creators of one of the best VPNs have unveiled a new checking tool to help keep you safe when downloading files from the internet.

While not a traditional antivirus, Nord's new File Checker is a service that anyone can use free of charge to check whether a file contains any malware or other malicious content.

Users can simply upload a suspicious file to the checker, and NordLabs will do the hard work to check if the file is a threat.

 Security and privacy

“Hackers have long proven their talent for disguising malware with legitimate-looking files. But the boom of artificial intelligence and development of large language models has enabled cybercriminals to build and distribute malware faster and easier. But as hackers become more resourceful, so does the cybersecurity industry. Tools like File Checker can help users remain secure online,” said Vykintas Maknickas, head of product strategy at NordVPN.

In order to maintain both privacy and security, the file does not leave the user's computer when it is being checked. File Checker instead calculates the files hash in the browser before passing it on to NordLabs. Once it arrives, the hash is checked against a database of known malicious files that is organized using complex machine learning and AI technologies to provide highly accurate results.

NordLabs File Checker

(Image credit: Nord Security)

If a file is suspected to be harboring something malicious, the tool will notify the user that they may have something dangerous on their hands. NordLabs has also unveiled a range of other experimental safety products such as link checker and a AI phishing assistant browser extension. 

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict has been writing about security issues for close to 5 years, at first covering geopolitics and international relations while at the University of Buckingham. During this time he studied BA Politics with Journalism, for which he received a second-class honours (upper division). Benedict then continued his studies at a postgraduate level and achieved a distinction in MA Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy. Benedict transitioned his security interests towards cybersecurity upon joining TechRadar Pro as a Staff Writer, focussing on state-sponsored threat actors, malware, social engineering, and national security. Benedict is also an expert on B2B security products, including firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, and password management.