Some of you may be familiar with the VirusTotal service, provided by the Spanish security firm Hispasec Sistemas S.L. The WEb-based service provides free virus checks of files submitted by users; it is noteworthy because is performs the check using multiple anti-virus packages and their associated data bases.
VirusTotal is a service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware detected by antivirus engines.
Even if a particular malware variant is missed by the anti-virus tool you use, it might be detected by one of the others that are part of the service. Currently, there are 40 different anti-virus tools included in the service, as well as checks for questionable Web sites using tools from Google, Firefox, and PhishTank, among others. The VirusTotal “About” page has more detailed information. (As the company notes, VirusTotal is not a substitute for anti-virus software on your PC, but it is a useful additional tool for checking suspicious files or programs.)
VirusTotal now has an extension, called VTzilla, for the Firefox browser, which simplifies the use of the service. It also allows you to select a file for downloading, and have it automatically scanned before it is stored on your PC. You can also scan a Web site for malware, and check URLs that you might receive (in an E-mail, for example). It adds some items to Firefox’s context menus and download dialogs to facilitate access to these functions. You can download the extension here. It may be a bit of overkill for the average user, but it is handy if checking out possible nasty-ware is something you do regularly.