VirusTotal the Largest Public Antivirus on the Internet
Virustotal, a new service for the detection of viruses, worms, and malware in general, allowing users to analyse files with multiple antivirus engines. All Internet users sending suspicious files or messages will receive a free report with the result of the analysis.
This original file analysis service uses the antivirus engines of Computer Associates (etrustAV), Eset Software (NOD32), FRISK Software (F-Prot), Kaspersky Lab (Kaspersky), Network Associates (McAfee), Norman (Norman), Panda Software (Panda Platinum), Softwin (Bitdefender), Sybari (Antigen), Symantec (Norton Antivirus), and TrendMicro (PC-Cillin). Hispasec is currently working on the addition of new engines which would increase the service’s detection capacity even further.
At http://www.virustotal.com, users have access to the analysis form, global real-time statistics, and descriptions and other information concerning viruses and malware in general.
Users can also forward messages directly or send suspicious files as e-mail attachments to email@example.com with SCAN on the subject line. They will shortly receive a detailed report of the analysis in their mailbox, with response time depending on the service load.
The VirusTotal service is primarily aimed at analysing suspicious files or messages which, even though they are harmful, have not been detected by the user’s own antivirus system, either because it has not been updated with very recent specimens or for any other reason.
Hispasec Sistemas wishes to emphasise that VirusTotal is in no way a replacement for the antivirus systems installed on PCs, since it only analyses individual files on demand and does not provide permanent protection for the user’s system. It also uses the command line versions of the engines concerned, which usually have less functionalities than desktop antivirus systems.
Furthermore, although the detection rate provided by a simultaneous analysis performed by multiple antivirus engines is much greater than that of a single product, the results do not guarantee that a file is harmless. To date, there is no solution capable of guaranteeing a 100% efficacy rate in the recognition of viruses and malware in general.
Hispasec would like to acknowledge the collaboration and support of the antivirus companies involved in VirusTotal and to encourage users to try the service.