back to article Google beefs up security portfolio with VirusTotal buy

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 " …

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  1. Matthew Anderson

    I always preferred Jotti which if I remember correctly (and could well be wrong) was around earlier than VirusTotal. Both are excellent services but I do find it odd that Google would make this purchase as they could set up the same service pretty quickly themselves with their resources and hoards of coders. Any light on the why they would purchase such a company?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They have a web browser, a search engine, cloud storage, an OS, lot's of money, etc...... Why wouldn't they want virus protection and why start from scratch when you can buy someone else?

      1. Matthew Anderson

        It is not virus protection, this is a service that will scan suspicious files which you have uploaded to them. You download msoffice.exe, upload it to VirusTotal and it will scan it on a multitude of AV applications and they let you know if any of them found it suspicious, at the same time as forwarding any suspicious files to AV companies for them to analyse and create sigs from. (hence why virus writes do not upload their malware to such places for testing purposes)

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Well they base all their products on Linux which is the Swiss Cheese of OSs, so it makes perfect sense. They desperately need a toolset to stop the hundreds of vulnerabilities in their products being attacked:

      http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2203907/android-devices-most-at-risk-from-mobile-malware

      http://www.bgr.com/2012/08/17/android-malware-q2-2012-study/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: android-devices-most-at-risk-from-mobile-malware

        So which is the most popular mobile platform? Oh yeah ...

    3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Trollface

      Well they need to use their G "Cloud" for something seeing as Google+ was a flop

  2. David 164 Bronze badge

    Look like one of my new year predictions for Google is coming true, them acquiring more security firms to brief up protection of there products.

    This is the second security firm that acquire in the last 18 months and I predict they will acquire more in the years to come.

    1. Euripides Pants Silver badge
      Trollface

      brief up?

      Have Google's products and services been running underwear free until now?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I predict they'll buy fewer in the years just gone!

  3. Conrad Longmore
    Thumb Down

    Oh well..

    Oh well.. that's fucked then. How long until they close it down?

  4. James 100

    Google, where products go to die?

    It was a useful service - just as well there's still jotti.org. How long before Google break it by welding it to Google- to get another user, or just deletes it to free up the developers for bolting pointless shininess to something I'll never want?

    I thought the "invent neat new program/service, get popular, get bought by megacorp" was bad, until Google extended it with "then kill the product off and dump the users". Are they really that bad at attracting good staff that they have to buy whole companies just to extract the staff?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google, where products go to die?

      No, that's Microsoft you're thinking of - buy a company because you don't have a clue how to address whatever sector they're working in, then all the important people leave within a year or two, leaving Microsoft with a product with no future.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No, that's Microsoft you're thinking of

        Or was it Oracle?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Google, where products go to die?

      Now that's really funny. Simple but spot on, Google- ha ha ha

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google, where products go to die?

      Yeah, those googly bastards, bought Picasa and then killed... no, wait..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uses

    Well for starters, the VirusTotal malware site list will almost certainly be integrated into the Safe Browsing API, https://developers.google.com/safe-browsing/ - which in turn is used to check against the index that returns search results. (phishtank.com is another good resource for this kind of thing)

    Perhaps they'll go further and integrate scanning of pages for nasties at index time too.

    1. Ilgaz

      Re: Uses

      I also think they will add "google sign in". If they tie it to an automated service, AV guys won't be happy. They donate their stuff for humans, e.g. you will say "Wow comodo detected that" and perhaps buy comodo next time.

  6. nuked
    Thumb Up

    Good news for Android...

  7. adnim Silver badge

    I is surprised

    Google have resource to knock up something to rival Virustotal in a week or two.(presuming AV vendors respond to Google partnership requests in a timely fashion) I can only presume the reason for Google acquiring Virustotal is that this aquisition provides Google with a ready made service AND removes competition at the same time. I just hope one does not have to sign in to use the service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I is surprised

      Maybe they *like* Virustotal, they know a bit about how it's constructed, like the team, etc.. When you have a pocketbook that fat, you can let your wants inform your needs sometimes, too.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Joy of joys more icing on the Monopoly Cake!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's strange acquisition. Aggregated scanning using command line scanners from 40+ different vendors isn't *that* hard a task to achieve. For a company as well resourced as Google, it would be a piece of cake.

    If they wanted the capability, why buy it, when they could create their own for relatively little investment.

    What do VT have that is unique and difficult for Google to recreate?

    If they're going down the path of integrating an aggregated scanning service into their own products, then VT may have the technology, but in reality, they're using other vendor's technology. And each of those vendors is going to require a new commercial agreement with Google if their technology is going to be integrated in other Google services. That's a big headache for their legal department right there - having to negotiate licencing agreements with 40+ separate AV vendors, including the likes of MS who are well known for taking a carefree approach to anyone that attempts to use their technology without paying for it.

    I'll be watching this one closely to see what they do with it...

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