A lot of people are aware of and are using online file-scanning services when they want to check if a suspicious file they got as an attachment or have found on their computer is actually some kind of malware.
Services like VirusTotal and Jotti allow these files to be submitted and check them against a myriad of commercial anti-virus software. If the results come back positive, they are shared with the manufacturers of all those software so that they can integrate adequate signatures in their products.
This is the reason why these services are not particularly attractive to malware-makers, and also the basis of the business plan for two relatively new file-scanning services: Av-check and Virtest.
According to the Wired, they promise not to share the malware with the security companies whose anti-malware solutions they use to check the file with (AVAST, AVG, Avira, BitDefender, NOD32, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee, Panda, Sophos, Symantec and Trend Micro – among others). They also offer (or plan to offer) advanced methods of malware testing, such as testing against firewall and anti-spyware programs, and testing if they can be deployed in a virtualized environment.
These services are not keeping secret the fact that they mean to cater to malware authors – even the payment for those services can be carried out only by using virtual currencies preferred by those who are at home in these murky waters. The price? A bargain – one dollar per file, or $40 per month.