Firefox Only: Easily scan files for malware before downloading them with VTzilla

We have all heard of VirusTotal, right? (You know,, the website that allows users to run files through 43 anti-malware scanners.) VirusTotal is a very handy service, but in order to use VT (VirusTotal) you need to download a file, then upload it on VT. Ever wish you were able to scan a file with VT before you download it? Well now you can (assuming you have Firefox).

VT has released an add-on for Firefox that allows users to scan files with VirusTotal without having to download the file:

When users opt to scan a file with VirusTotal, two things happen:

  • The URL of the website which you are downloading the file from is scanned using VT’s new “URL scanner”:

(Click on image to view in full size.)

  • The file is uploaded onto and scanned:

(Click on image to view in full size.)

To try to get users to make use of their new URL scanner, VirusTotal has programmed VTzilla in such a way that when scanning a file, users are first displayed the results of the URL scanner and then have the option to view the results of the file scanner. (Unfortunately there is no way to change this behavior. I hope an option is added in future updates allowing users to view the results of the file scanner first.) To access the file scanner results from the URL scanner results page, click on View downloaded file analysis found on the URL scanner results page:

Other things worth noting regarding VTzilla:

  • VTzilla has the ability to scan URLs, in addition to files (the URL is run through VT’s URL scanner):

  • VTzilla comes with an (annoying) toolbar:

This toolbar allows users to 1) Scan the current website you are surfing [via the URL scanner] 2) Search VirusTotal database/community. However, personally, I find this toolbar to be more annoying than useful. Fortunately, you can turn it off easily by going to “View” -> “Toolbars” and unchecking “VirusTotal Toolbar”. (You may also right-click on the toolbar and uncheck “VirusTotal Toolbar”.)

  • The 20 MB file size limit of still applies to files scanned with VTzilla. Any files over 20 MB will simply not produce file scanner results.
  • VTzilla is a new add-on, so it is not yet available in Firefox’s add-on repository – it must be downloaded directly from Typically it is always a good security measure to only download add-ons from Firefox’s add-on repository, but is a trust source so there should be no issues by downloading directly from VT.

That said, you can download VTzilla from the following links:

Version reviewed: v1.0

Supported OS: Any OS that can run Firefox

Special note: VTzilla does not support Firefox 4 Beta yet

VTzilla homepage [direct download]

[via WebWorkerDaily]

Related Posts