Feeds

Google beefs up security portfolio with VirusTotal buy

Promises to play fair with anti-virus vendors

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has bought online malware-scanning firm VirusTotal and is pledging to keep the service open to support security software vendors.

"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," the security firm said in its "Inside VirusTotal's Pants" blog. "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."

VirusTotal was set up in 2007 and uses over 40 different antivirus engines to scan files and URLs for malware for free. Users can upload small files for checking, or just input a URL, to see if it's on a blacklist, and VirusTotal shares its results with other security vendors to allow them to beef up their defenses.

The computer security industry is unusual in that its members share some of its most valuable data – malware signatures – with competitors. This ensures that new malware is tramped down quickly and the rising tide of security raises all boats. Even Microsoft shares its data, so Google's confirmation is a good sign for the industry.

Google didn't say how much it is spending to purchase VirusTotal, but it has pledged that it will continue to share information from the service with other vendors. It's not saying how it will be integrating the VirusTotal technology, but safer searching and better malware security for its Apps platform look the most likely bets.

"Security is incredibly important to our users and we've invested many millions of dollars to help keep them safe online," a Google spokeswoman told El Reg. "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." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.