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Google buys VirusTotal

Online virus checking

Search engine Google has bought the VirusTotal company. The company provides an online facility which processes user-submitted samples for inspection by over forty anti-virus scanners.

VirusTotal said that the company had 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. This will mean that it will continue to work 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. 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 play nice with Google's Safe Browsing technology which already scans several million web sites a day.

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