Google has just acquired VirusTotal, a free security service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs, for an undisclosed amount. According to VirusTotal’s announcement, the two companies had been partners for quite some time, and now VirusTotal will continue to operate independently, reaping the benefits of Google’s resources.

Per the agreement, which was spotted by Mikko Hypponen, VirusTotal states that it will maintain its partnerships with outside antivirus companies and security experts. As for Google, this move clearly shows its interests in beefing up its security resources, making this acquisition relevant to nearly all of its services, like Gmail, where files and links are constantly exchanged.

From VirusTotal:

Our goal is simple: to help keep you safe on the web. 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. So we’re delighted that Google, a long-time partner, has acquired VirusTotal. This is great news for you, and bad news for malware generators, because:

  • The quality and power of our malware research tools will keep improving, most likely faster; and
  • Google’s infrastructure will ensure that our tools are always ready, right when you need them.

Screen Shot 2012 09 07 at 1.00.14 PM 520x345 Google beefs up its security by acquiring online virus scanner VirusTotal

At the moment, beyond price, this looks like an open-and-shut-case. We’ve reached out to Google for a comment and will report back with more.

Update: A Google spokesperson has gotten back to us.

Security is incredibly important to our users and we’ve invested many millions of dollars to help keep them safe online. VirusTotal also has a strong track record in web security, and we’re delighted to be able to provide them with the infrastructure they need to ensure that their service continues to improve.