Google purchases malware scanner VirusTotal

Steven Loeb · September 7, 2012 · Short URL:

Google makes eighth purchase this year; and its fifth in the security space

Google has purchased malware scanner VirusTotal, it was announced on VirusTotal’s blog Friday.

The terms of the deal, including how much Google spent to buy the company, have not been disclosed.

“Our goal is simple: to help keep you safe on the Web. And 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. So we’re delighted that Google, a long-time partner, has acquired VirusTotal,” the company wrote.

“Google has a long track record working to keep people safe online and we look forward to fighting the good fight together with them.”

VirusTotal offers a free service that scans suspicious files and URLs to detect viruses, worms, trojans, and other malware. The service uses 44 different antivirus products to check for malware that those service may have missed, including McAfee, AVG, Microsoft Malware Protection and Norton.

It also has plugins available for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Malaga, Spain-based VirusTotal was launched in 2004. In 2007 it was selected by PC World as one of the best 100 products of the year.

The company says that it will continue to operate independently from Google, as well as maintain its partnerships with antivirus companies, which means it is unlikely that Google will be incorporating VirusTotal technology, at least for the time being.

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,” a Google spokesperson told VatorNews.

Google has previously made other purchases to beef up its security. In 2007, it purchased GreenBorder, a security software company and Postini, an e-mail and Web security and archiving service. In 2009, the company bought reCAPTCHA, a service that makes you write out those squiggly words to prove that you are an actual person. In 2011, Google acquired Zynamics, a security analytics software company.

Google currently provides security for its Android operating system with Google Bounce, which the company debuted in February. 

Other recent Google acquisitions

VirusTotal is Google’s eighth purchase this year.

Google bought social network Milk in March, online payment company TxVia in April, along with mobile app Sparrow and social media marketing company Wildfire in July.

Google also purchased Meebo in June for a reported $100 million, and then purchased mobile productivity app maker Quickoffice the next day.

In August, Google acquired the Frommer’s travel brand for $23 million.

Google shares were up nearly 1% in regular trading, then another 2.45% in after hours trading, ending at $708.60.

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