Google Acquires VirusTotal, Malware Scanner Service

Dennis Faas's picture

VirusTotal, a company that produces a free online malware scanner service, says it has been acquired by search giant Google. Google has confirmed the transaction took place, but has not released financial details of the sale.

We do know that VirusTotal announced the acquisition late last week.

The firm's online malware scanner evaluates website addresses (URLs) and also files on your hard drive, to ensure they do not contain viruses, trojan horses, or other forms of malware.

VirusTotal says it utilizes more than forty different antivirus strategies to detect potential problems. (Source:

Right now, the only way to use VirusTotal's capabilities is to visit the company's website and use the system's scanner bar to navigate to a file on your hardrive, or to enter a URL. VirusTotal then examines the indicated data and advises whether or not it is dangerous.

VirusTotal to Remain Independent, but Get Better

For now, it appears that VirusTotal will continue to operate independently. It will keep its partnerships with the variety of security firms and independent experts with whom it regularly consults.

However, the company suggests its acquisition by Google will provide capital and infrastructural tools to improve its malware research.

"Our goal is simple: to help keep you safe on the web," the company said in its statement announcing the sale.

"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."

Acquisition to Improve User Confidence in Chrome

Google announced that it went forward with the acquisition because it sees security as "incredibly important."

A spokesperson for the firm indicated the deal was just one example of how Google has spent "many millions of dollars" in an ongoing campaign to keep its users safe from attack. (Source:

Regardless of Google's plans for VirusTotal, the purchase -- and specifically its announcement -- should help cement Chrome's reputation as a very safe-to-use web browser. (Source:

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