You know that delightful service that allows users to scan files of up to 32 MB in size with 40+ anti-virus, anti-malware engines? Yeah, VirusTotal is what I am talking about. It seems like Google now owns them: according to a blog post made by VirusTotal on Friday, Google has acquired VirusTotal.
How much Google paid for VirusTotal isn’t clear because the financial details have not been revealed. However, VirusTotal wants you to know that Google has already been a long time partner of VirusTotal and them completely buying out the service is for the best:
The quality and power of our malware research tools will keep improving, most likely faster, and Google’s infrastructure will ensure that our tools are always ready, right when you need them.
VirusTotal also wants you to know they will operate as an independent company, despite having new masters:
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.
For its part, Google has issued an official statement to The Next Web indicating this move is to help bolster VirusTotal but does not exactly specify what Google plans to use them for:
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.
I can see and understand how Google’s massive cloud infrastructure would help improve VirusTotal. In fact, and hopefully, we may even see the 32MB file size limit removed from VirusTotal thanks to the backbone Google will now provide. Still, I can’t put my finger on what Google would want to do with a security company that doesn’t own its own anti-malware engine but rather uses what others provide. Maybe Google wants to integrate VirusTotal services into cleaning up the Play Store? Who knows. One thing is for sure, however: privacy nuts are about to go… nuts. (No, I’m not ragging on people that value their privacy. My comment is a joke. Don’t flame me.) And let’s hope this isn’t a move by Google to provide better targeted ads.