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Google has acquired Web based URL scanner VirusTotal to improve browser security.

Google has acquired Web based  URL scanner VirusTotal to improve browser security. 

What is VirusTotal
VirusTotal, a subsidiary of Google, is a free online service that analyzes files and URLs enabling the identification of viruses, worms, trojans and other kinds of malicious content detected by antivirus engines and website scanners. At the same time, it may be used as a means to detect false positives, i.e. innocuous resources detected as malicious by one or more scanners.
VirusTotal’s mission is to help in improving the antivirus and security industry and make the internet a safer place through the development of free tools and services.
VirusTotal's main characteristics are highlighted below.
Free unbiased service
VirusTotal, is offered freely to end users as long as its use has no commercial purpose and does not become part of any business activity. Even though the service works with engines belonging to different enterprises and organizations, VirusTotal does not distribute or advertise any products belonging to third parties, but simply acts as an aggregator of information. This prevents us from being subjected to any kind of bias and allows us to offer an objective service to our users.
Runs multiple antivirus engines and website scanners
VirusTotal simply acts as an information aggregator. The aggregated data is the output of different antivirus engines, website scanners, file and URL analysis tools and user contributions. The full list of antivirus solutions and website scanners used in VirusTotal can be found in the credits and collaboration acknowledgements section.
Runs multiple file and URL characterization tools
As previously stated, VirusTotal also aggregates the output of a number of file and URL characterization tools. These tools cover a wide range of purposes, ranging from providing structural information about Microsoft Windows portable executables (PEs) to identifying signed software. The full list of file and URL characterization tools used in VirusTotal can be found in the credits and collaboration acknowledgements section.
Real time updates of virus signatures and blacklists
The malware signatures of antivirus solutions present in VirusTotal are periodically updated as they are developed and distributed by the antivirus companies. The update polling frequency is 15 minutes—this makes sure that the products are using the latest signature sets.
Website scanning is done via API queries to the different companies providing the particular solution, hence, the most updated version of their dataset is always used.

An update from VirusTotal
Our goal is simple: to help keep you safe on the web. And we’ve worked hard to ensure that the services we offer continually improve. But as a small, resource-constrained company, that can sometimes be challenging. So we’re delighted that Google, a long-time partner, has acquired VirusTotal. 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 continue to operate independently, maintaining our partnerships with other antivirus companies and security experts. This is an exciting step forward. Google has a long track record working to keep people safe online and we look forward to fighting the good fight together with them.   

Source: VirusTotal

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