VirusTotal is a public service run by Julio Canto of Hispasec Systems, a security services company in Malaga, Spain. Users upload files to the service which, after checking to see if they have already been scanned, runs them through 44 different malware scanners. The user sees which products found the file to be malicious and what the threat name is. If a new file is found to be malicious, all the malware scanner companies receive notification and samples in order to keep their own products current with the threat.
Such a service requires huge computing and memory resources, and makes no money.
"Security is incredibly important to our users and we've invested many millions of dollars to help keep them safe online," said a Google spokesperson. "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."
Canto told BYTE that demands on the service have been increasing at a "tremendous" rate and that it had been hit many times in recent years by denial of service attacks. Google is in a much better position to host the service reliably and to protect it against attack, said Canto.