Google Broadens Its Security Insight With Acquisition of VirusTotal
Google has acquired VirusTotal, the popular service that lets users analyze suspicious files and URLs to help facilitate the detection of malware.
VirusTotal lets users submit a file that may be suspect and scans it using the engines of dozens of antivirus products to see if the file in question has been marked as malicious by any of the vendors.
They provide a similar service with URL scanning services, and let a user check a URL to see if it is flagged as malicious by any of many Website scanning solutions.
In addition to the file and URL analysis services, VirusTotal maintains an online community that lets users interact with each other and comment on and discuss various files and URLs.
“We’re delighted that Google, a long-time partner, has acquired VirusTotal,” the company said in an online statement. “This is great news for you, and bad news for malware generators, because: The quality and power of our malware research tools will keep improving, most likely faster; and Google’s infrastructure will ensure that our tools are always ready, right when you need them.”
VirusTotal will operate independently, and maintain its partnerships with anti-virus firms and security researchers, the company said.
“Google has a long track record working to keep people safe online and we look forward to fighting the good fight together with them,” they added.
While many researchers use the free scanning service, VirusTotal does offer a premium file detection monitoring service (VirusTotal Monitor) that acts as an early warning system about false positives.
“We are constantly tweaking our solutions to protect Google users even better, and even the solutions described here may change,” Michal Zalewski, from Google’s Security Team wrote in a blog post late last month. “Our commitment to making the Internet a safer place, however, will never waver.”
The acquisition of VirusTotal will help Google on that front.
“Security is incredibly important to our users and we’ve invested many millions of dollars to help keep them safe online," a Goolgle spokesperson wrote in an email to SecurityWeek. "VirusTotal also has a strong track record in web security, and we’re delighted to be able to provide them with the infrastructure they need to ensure that their service continues to improve.”
The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.