Will Google’s Purchase of VirusTotal Make Chrome the World’s Safest Web Browser?

Posted on Oct. 1, 2012 by - No Comments on Will Google’s Purchase of VirusTotal Make Chrome the World’s Safest Web Browser?
Will Google’s Purchase of VirusTotal Make Chrome the World’s Safest Web Browser?

Google has bought up an online malware scanning company known as VirusTotal. Although it remains unclear how much the search giant paid for the firm, the acquisition could potentially make Google’s Chrome the safest browser to use, period.

VirusTotal notes that it will continue to operate as an independent entity and maintain all of its contacts to antivirus security firms. Of course, the big advantage of the acquisition will be gaining access to Google’s enormous capital and infrastructure.

“Our goal is simple: to help keep you safe on the web,” VirusTotal announced. “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.”

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

If you’ve never used VirusTotal, the idea is actually quite straightforward. Just visit the VirusTotal site and enter either a suspicious file or website address (otherwise known as a URL). The scanner then produces a results page showing the trustworthiness of the file or URL in question.

Google is keeping pretty quiet about the sale, though it did reveal that VirusTotal had been acquired. A spokesperson added that Google sees browser security as “incredibly important” and that it has invested “many millions of dollars” into an ongoing crusade to keep its users safe.

This is hardly the first security firm acquired by Google, though it’s important not to underestimate the value of this most recent acquisition. First of all, it will enhance Chrome’s reputation as the safest browser out there, even if Google doesn’t put VirusTotal to work improving the security of that product.

But in all likelihood VirusTotal will be put to good use. “The search giant may improve its existing security services using VirusTotal’s data, so it’d make sense for Google to keep the service alive and let its dataset grow,” said PC World’s Jared Newman.