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10 September 2012, 09:12

Google acquires VirusTotal

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VirusTotal logo The VirusTotal team, best known for offering an online facility which processes user-submitted samples for inspection by over forty anti-virus scanners, has announced that it has been purchased by Google. VirusTotal says it has been a "small, resource-constrained company," but with the acquisition it hopes to boost the performance and quality of its research tools and be able to deploy them over Google's infrastructure.

Google has been a long-term partner of VirusTotal and will continue to allow it to operate independently, which should allow it to keep working with other security experts and anti-virus companies. Hispasec Sistemas, the company that originally developed VirusTotal, is unaffected by the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and it is unclear how Google might be planning to use VirusTotal's software in future.

VirusTotal's free service allows suspicious files to be uploaded for signature and behavioural analysis by processing the files through more than forty scanners in parallel. The service can be integrated into browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer allowing the scanning function to be called up on downloads. The VirusTotal technology could complement Google's Safe Browsing technology which already scans several million web sites a day and discovers nearly 10,000 malicious sites a day.


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