VirusTotal today announced that it has been acquired by Google.

"VirusTotal was set up in 2007 and uses over 40 different antivirus engines to scan files and URLs for malware for free," writes The Register's Iain Thomson. "Users can upload small files for checking, or just input a URL, to see if it's on a blacklist, and VirusTotal shares its results with other security vendors to allow them to beef up their defenses."

"VirusTotal will continue to operate independently, maintaining our partnerships with other antivirus companies and security experts," VirusTotal stated in a blog post. "This is an exciting step forward. Google has a long track record working to keep people safe online and we look forward to fighting the good fight together with them."

"So what does the acquisition mean? VirusTotal assures us that it will still operate on its own, but now it has Google's resources behind it -- and Google has theirs," writes Lifehacker's Whitson Gordon. "We expect this means better virus protection in Google products like Gmail, but no matter what, this means good things for virus hunters all around."

"VirusTotal already offered browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer to integrate malware scanning into users’ browsers," notes Forbes' Andy Greenberg. "Although the company wrote in a blog post that it will continue to operate as an independent service, it’s safe to assume its tools will be integrated into the scanning data that Google already provides to Chrome, Firefox and Safari to show users 8 million warnings a day when they visit malware-infected websites."