The website VirusTotal at https://www.virustotal.com was created to help people identify computer viruses. It does this by analysing infected files or URLs supplied to it and it’s a free service.
VirusTotal inspects items by using 70+ antivirus scanners and URL/domain blacklisting services, plus a range of tools to extract signals from the studied content.
How to use the Website
You can select a file on your computer and upload it to VirusTotal in your browser.
There is also the option of desktop uploaders, browser extensions and a programmatic API if this is to become a regular practice.
As with files, URLs can be submitted via several different means including the VirusTotal webpage, browser extensions and the API.
How Does the Virus Checker Work?
A submitted file or URL is scanned and the results shown on screen. The data and results are shared with VirusTotal partners who use the results to improve their own systems. As a result, by submitting files, URLs, domains, etc. to VirusTotal you are contributing to raise the global IT security level.
Scanning reports produced by VirusTotal are shared with the public VirusTotal community. Users can contribute comments and vote on whether particular content is harmful. In this way, users help to deepen the community’s collective understanding of potentially harmful content and identify false positives (i.e. harmless items detected as malicious by one or more scanners).
The service provides qualified customers and anti-virus partners with tools to perform complex criteria-based searches to identify and access harmful files samples for further study. This helps organizations discover and analyse new threats and fashion new mitigations and defences.
VirusTotal not only tells you whether a given antivirus solution detected a submitted file as malicious, but also displays each engine’s detection label (e.g., I-Worm.Allaple.gen).
This is a valuable resource in the fight against computer viruses.
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