Russia Developing Its Own Version of VirusTotal Amid Concerns Over U.S. Surveillance

    The Russian government is now developing a malware-scanning platform named “Multiscanner”. This move comes after concerns arose about the US government accessing data on the popular VirusTotal service, a Google property. VirusTotal lets organizations upload and test suspected malware using various antivirus tools. It also builds a malware signature library by sharing these checks with the cybersecurity community.

    Russia’s National Technology Center for Digital Cryptography leads the Multiscanner project. They collaborate with other organizations and private firms. The platform’s website is live but is currently undergoing updates. Companies like Kaspersky, AVSoft, and Netoscope are listed as partners.

    Alexander Shoitov, Russia’s deputy minister of digital development and communications, stated that Multiscanner will introduce new features next year. The goal is for it to be fully functional by 2025. Like VirusTotal, Multiscanner will check files and links using static analysis. It will also study suspected malware behaviour in safe sandbox settings.

    Alexey Vishnyakov, head of malware detection at Positive Technologies, highlighted the risk of US authorities accessing VirusTotal user data. Positive Technologies faces sanctions from the US Treasury and the European Union. This concern grew in July when a VirusTotal employee mistakenly shared a list of user accounts. This error exposed defence and intelligence agency staff’s names and email addresses.

    Russia’s move to develop domestic tech alternatives supports its goal to have more control over the internet for national security reasons. This initiative also comes after sanctions were imposed due to the Ukraine invasion.

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