Google has acquired the online scanning tool called VirusTotal. VirusTotal is a free online-based scanner that allows users to upload a file and have it analyzed for viruses, bugs and other issues that may get by a traditional anti-virus program. Google’s acquisition of VirusTotal comes on the heels of a year where it seems every major company known to man has been hacked.
While Google has yet to released the exact details of what it plans to do with VirusTotal, it looks like they want to utilize the basis of what they do throughout the Google platform, including Google Apps, Chrome and other projects. Google has plenty of reasons to want better URL and download analysis. They can beef up Chrome’s defenses, making things difficult for Android malware as well as help keep its search results malware-free.
How does VirusTotal work
VirusTotal is similar to most other online scanner tools, including the COMODO-based tool we covered previously at TechNorms.
Since Google has said part of its acquisition of VirusTotal will be to let the company itself continue its partnerships as well as develop its tool to its fullest potential. So, let us see how VirusTotal works for the everyday user.
Head to VirusTotal’s website.
Now, all you have to do is click “Choose File” to get started.
From there, you will pick a file on your computer you think might have something going on behind the scenes.
Remember that whenever you use any type of online scanning tool, you give them permission to scan your file and this also allows them to keep the file in their online database to refer to at a later time. This helps build their database and keep not only your files protected but others as well.
When you are ready to scan your file after choosing it, click “Scan it!”
It will take just a few moments depending on the size of the file to upload it to VirusTotal, so just let the tool do its job.
Once uploaded, VirusTotal will begin analyzing the file for issues. This also will take some time, probably longer than uploading it.
When finished, you will be given a variety of details that may make little to no sense in the beginning of using an online scanning tool.
For the most part, if something is in fact wrong with a file, VirusTotal will let you know otherwise the details are of no consequence to you.
In this case, the file that was scanned was found to have no issues and VirusTotal had no record of it or issues for it in the database.
Below the analysis information, you will see a variety of comparisons to other scanning tools. Depending on what was found, each one will let you know if it found anything to be concerned with.
At the top right of the results, VirusTotal will give you a simple way to tell if the file is good or bad overall. They call it reputation.
You can have anywhere from -100 to 100 reputation with zero being neutral. In the case of this file, it was found to have zero reputation because no results were found on the file at all.
At the end of the page, you will see more information on your file, such as comments on it, votes and other data based on what others users have uploaded and found.
This is just the basis to how VirusTotal works for the average user.
What makes VirusTotal valuable to Google?
For Google, ensuring the security across its wide range of applications is key to maintaining stability in a world where everyone is a target online for various reasons. By absorbing a tool such as VirusTotal, this gives Google a starting ground for developing procedures, security fixes and more that will help keep everyone as safe as possible while using Google Apps.
Give VirusTotal a try to see how it works for you and your file safety, then think about all the ways a tool such as that will keep Google Apps safe as well.