virustotal api policy changes to curb one sided usage

Virustotal is a webapp that lets you upload files to check them for viruses before you install them. You can also scan a URL directly or search the VirusTotal database. The great thing about virustotal is that it checks the uploaded file against many commercial antivirus and malware detection engines not just one, and then it tells you which ones detected the file as malware.  Consequently lots of people, companies, websites, & tools have started to make use of this amazing tool to bolster their virus and malware detecting capabilities. If, for example, multiple high rated engines detect a file as suspect, then we can be certain it requires a further inspection.

The Issue at hand is that many companies have taken this service as granted. They use the results provided by virustotal as is or with little to no face checking and due diligence on their part. In some cases their own detection engines are so lack luster that it is actually better for everyone involved that they don’t bother. However this does cause a bit of an issue as this is rather unfair. Some companies and products are basically taking whats put on virustotal by other providers, checking results against those but not putting their own engines on virustotal so no one can benefit from that extra bit of checking. Dont get me wrong, every one of these product pays for a Virustotal API access subscription, but that subscription relies on a lot of great people and companies making their engines available to VT , which in turn improves the results and detection overall for the average Joe like me.

Virus total has now changed their policy to make some issues clearer and to make some things mandatory.

  • Virustotal is not a replacement for a proper antivirus.
  • Virustotal isnt intended to be a proper replacement for a full on AV product, as it doesnt have a full on Antivirus environment just the basic detection engine, hence it shouldn’t be used to rank or rate AV products of their engines.
  • Dont use third party names in your product without talking to and getting permission from the third parties, such as the engine developers etc who provide the results for virtustotal.
  • Dont use virustotal logo, name, or trademark anywhere without virustotal’s prior permission.

Biggest change that will certainly sink a few products out there :

  • all scanning companies will now be required to integrate their detection scanner in the public VT interface, in order to be eligible to receive antivirus results as part of their VirusTotal API services.
  • Additionally, new scanners joining the community will need to prove a certification and/or independent reviews from security testers according to best practices of Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO)

Simply put, ALL scanning companies and end point makers will not be forced to put up their detection scanners and engines for VT to be put on their public interface, i.e. the interface you and I use, before these scanning companies can use Virustotal API. These companies cant just take everyone’s hard work and build multi million dollar companies on top of that. they have to contribute to this community effort before they can benefit from it.

Any new players on the scene will have to be vetted and certified by a governing body, in this case that would be the Anti Malware testing standards organization (AMTSO). In theory this makes it so there are some standards to be maintained.

Time shall tell how well this change works out for everyone and We shall see!

Apps News

YouTube Music Key rolling out to Play Music All Access subscribers only

YouTube Music Key is rolling out today, and only All Access subscribers are getting it. The app presents offline playback from YouTube at 360p or 720p, ad-free music videos and background playback. If you subscribed and have the app on your mobile, you can use it on the web as well.


The rollout is limited to Play Music All Access subscribers, even those who didn’t subscribe to the app specifically. An expanded rollout to those who subscribed for YouTube Music Key could follow in a few days.


Source: AndroidPolice

Apps News

Microsoft launches Health app along with Band to match it!

It appears that all monoliths on the tech market are pushing their own fitness apps and devices this time of year. Why wouldn’t Microsoft be one of them then? Google recently published Fit, Apple has HealthKit and now Microsoft will give us Health too!

Microsoft Health is the app that tracks your sleep quality, heart rate, calories burned and it tracks your steps as well. In order to properly use this app you will need, of course, a proper band – the Microsoft Band. The device is a plastic bracelet with a LCD screen that displays emails, incoming calls and text messages. It also maps your trips and activity. It was launched in the Microsoft Store where you can get it for $199.99.




Microsoft Health itself is a web platform that allows you to launch a browser in order to get feedback based on what your activities are, the service can show you detailed stuff like how many calories you burn during your exercise sessions, which exercises burn the most calories, how much recovery you should allow yourself after a workout or how your food impacts your workout sessions.


Microsoft Health


Fitness partners can integrate their services with Health and among the apps that will be supported on the platform you can find RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, Jawbone and MapMyFitness. Microsoft says that, in the future, users will be able to use their data with HealthVault, where they can get doctor advice.

Just in case you like the Microsoft Band more than your usual Android Wear devices, you will probably like the app platform that comes with it. It’s free on the Google PlayStore.

Source: Microsoft Blog


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Apache Fancy Indexes

Now that I have to support a cpanel server again, I have to dabble in apache confs. Sometimes you want apache to show an index of the files in a directory for simplicity, for this we use Apache Module mod_autoindex. Which gives a bare basics index mode and a fancier index mode with better layout, links and presentation. Here’s hows to enable apache fancy indexes. Add it to your vhost config or to your .htaccess :

IndexOptions FancyIndexing IconHeight=16 IconWidth=16

you can also supress some things you dont need such as icons, lastmodified dates etc. A more modified directory listing can be achieved via the following commands, feel free to remove the options you dont want.

IndexOptions FancyIndexing SuppressIcon SuppressLastModified SuppressSize IconsAreLinks IconHeight=16 IconWidth=16