What is VirusTotal and How it Works

May 22, 2023

VirusTotal is a platform that brings together hundreds of antivirus and detection engines to make them available to the user so that he can perform analysis of URLs, IP addresses or domains as well as files uploaded to the same platform. This allows you to check if a link or file really contains malware, since you would not be analyzing with only one antivirus, but with dozens at a time.

How to analyze a web page in VirusTotal?

The operation is simple, you access the website, go to the “URL” section, paste the URL you want to analyze and wait for the hundreds of antivirus and detection engines to check based on signatures if the URL you sent points to a malicious resource or not, in this case, this is cleaner than a bald man’s head after shampooing.

You will see possible detections in red, while, if everything goes well, you should see it in green.

How to scan a file in VirusTotal?

To analyze files the process is almost the same, instead of going to “URL”, you go directly to “file”, select it or drag and drop it into the website, with this done, the file will be analyzed in the same way, although you should know that in this case, the sample is sent to all detection engines and antivirus, so, if you are professionally dedicated to the development of exploits, maybe the best is not to use VirusTotal but other alternatives that do not perform this last action when you send the file to be analyzed.

Can VirusTotal be installed?

This question is often asked by many users, because imagine having instead of an antivirus, hundreds protecting your system, what a bargain, unfortunately this is not possible and VirusTotal can not be installed on your system (at least not officially), also, remember that VirusTotal is not an antivirus, it is only a portal that brings together several of these in addition to detection engines, is an intermediary between the assets to be analyzed and the software that will analyze it.

However, what does exist is an official VirusTotal extension for Chromium-based browsers such as Firefox, to use it, you just have to install it.

How to install the VirusTotal extension?

First you must choose whether to install it in a browser based on Chromium or in one based on Mozilla Firefox, it depends on which one you use, to install it just add it to the browser, with confidence, this extension is the official one, try not to install third-party extensions that are out there, mostly to prioritize your cybersecurity.

How to use the VirusTotal extension?

To use it is super simple, you have several features, the most striking is that, after accepting its policies, VirusTotal will analyze all the files you download from the browser where the extension is installed (and will send the sample we mentioned before).

On the other hand, when you have the extension active, on each hyperlink you right-click, you will have a new option, this time to analyze the link in question within a range of scans that VirusTotal allows you to do.

Finally, all the options seen are customizable, you can adapt the extension to what best suits you and what you need to increase a little more your security when surfing the Internet.


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