Menu
Google-owned VirusTotal releases file-scanning tool for Mac users

Google-owned VirusTotal releases file-scanning tool for Mac users

The desktop app allows Mac users to easily send files to be scanned with over 50 antivirus engines

Popular file and URL scanning service VirusTotal released a new application that allows Mac OS X users to scan suspicious files with more than 50 antivirus engines supported by the service.

The tool, VirusTotal Mac OSX Uploader, can be used to scan individual files, Mac apps or entire folders. The items can be dragged and dropped into the uploader's interface or sent to the service for scanning by right clicking on them and using the "open with" menu.

The uploader uses the VirusTotal public API (application programming interface) so is limited to four requests per minute. Scanning a large number of files is possible, but the app will schedule them and the whole operation can take a long time.

VirusTotal is not a substitute for desktop anti-malware products because it doesn't provide real-time detection and protection, only on-demand file scanning. It can be used to get a second opinion on suspicious files, but users should be aware that when scanning with such a large set of antivirus engines the likelihood of encountering bogus detections is higher.

A VirusTotal scan report with detections from only a couple of antivirus engines out of 50 can mean both a false positive or a new malware variant, so interpreting the results is not always straightforward. However, because VirusTotal shares the malicious files it receives with antivirus vendors that didn't detect them, using the service can generally end up helping other users.

The hope is that the tool, which has been tested on OS X 10.8 and 10.9, "will lead to VirusTotal receiving more Mac applications, diving deeper into an increasingly targeted OS by attackers and allowing antivirus companies and researchers making use of VirusTotal's backend to build stronger defenses against these threats," said Karl Hiramoto, technical account manager at VirusTotal, in a blog post.

VirusTotal was launched in 2004 by Spanish security company Hispasec Sistemas, but was acquired by Google in September 2012.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlesecuritymalwareantivirus

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP New Zealand held an inaugural Evolve Education event at Aotea Centre in Auckland, welcoming over 70 principals, teachers and education experts to explore ways of shaping and enhancing learning using technology.

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch
Show Comments