Google acquires VirusTotal, but plans to keep it independent

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Google has acquired VirusTotal, a free web service that inspects suspicious files against the most commonly deployed anti-virus solutions.

Founded in 2004, the service also allows users to input suspect URLs to scan websites for malware threats. According to an announcement on VirusTotal's website, the company is a longtime partner of Google.

“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,” a Google spokeswoman told SCMagazine.com Friday in an email.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mike Tuchen, CEO of vulnerability management company Rapid7, said that because VirusTotal, which runs tests against more than 40 anti-virus providers, will remain as an independent entity, existing partnerships can be maintained.

The Google spokeswoman declined to comment on how the company plans to use VirusTotal, but Tuchen suggested the technology could be integrated into Google's array of web offerings, including its search engine, Chrome browser, as well as Gmail virus detection.

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