The Russian government is in the process of developing its own version of the popular malware scanning platform VirusTotal, to be named “Multiscanner,” amid concerns about potential U.S. government access to data on VirusTotal, a Google-owned service.
VirusTotal serves as an online platform where organizations can submit suspected malware for analysis using a range of antivirus tools. It has been a valuable resource for the cybersecurity community, creating a repository of malware signatures to enhance threat detection and intelligence.
Furthermore, Alexander Shoitov, the deputy minister of digital development and communications in Russia, revealed that the development of Multiscanner is a collaborative effort involving the National Technology Center for Digital Cryptography, private sector enterprises, and partner companies like Kaspersky, AVSoft, and Netoscope. The platform is anticipated to be fully operational by 2025, offering functionalities akin to VirusTotal. These functions will include remote file and link analysis through static analysis, as well as behavioral analysis of suspected malware within controlled virtual sandbox environments.
Alexey Vishnyakov, the head of malware detection at Positive Technologies, a Russian company previously sanctioned by both the U.S. Treasury and the European Union for its support of Russian intelligence services, explained that the potential for U.S. authorities to access user data on VirusTotal could render its use unlawful in the Russian Federation. This initiative by the Russian government to create a domestic alternative to U.S.-based technologies comes in the wake of international sanctions resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It aligns with the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to exert sovereign control over the information accessible to its citizens in the name of national security.