Google has acquired VirusTotal, a malware-scanning company that offered its services for free. Users can submit a file or an URL to be scanned and the site warns them if it contains any malware. The site relies on over 40 antivirus engines and other tools to scan the files.
The site will continue to operate as is as part of Google, the company said on its blog. However, it will benefit from the expertise and, more importantly, infrastructure and resources of Google.
"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," VirusTotal wrote.
"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," it said.
"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."
It's not exactly clear what Google plans to do with VirusTotal, if anything. There's a number of places that could benefit from better malware scanning, the Play Store for one, not to mention the search engine. Chrome too could do with better built-in security tools.
But there don't seem to be any big plans for integration at this point, Google is happy leaving VirusTotal do its job. At the very least, it could benefit from an improved URL blocklist for the search engine.
"Security is incredibly important to our users and we’ve invested many millions of dollars to help keep them safe online. 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," Google commented on the acquisition.