US Cyber Command to share viruses with VirusTotal

News by Tom Reeve

The cyber-security operations arm of US Cyber Command has begun posting virus samples to VirusTotal, the online repository of malware samples.

US Cyber Command to share viruses with VirusTotal

The cyber-security operations arm of US Cyber Command has begun posting virus samples to VirusTotal, the online repository of malware samples.

The US Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) has posted its first malware sample to the VirusTotal website in a move toward greater openness.

CNMF is a subordinate unit of the US Cyber Command. In a posting on Twitter, it said that it is "proud to help prevent harm by malicious cyber actors by sharing with the global cyber-security community".

— USCYBERCOM Malware Alert (@CNMF_VirusAlert) November 5, 2018

The unclassified malware samples will be available from CNMF’s user account on VirusTotal.

VirusTotal was launched by a Spanish security company in 2004 and acquired by Google in 2012. It is currently owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

In a statement on its website, the CNMF said: "Recognising the value of collaboration with the public sector, the CNMF has initiated an effort to share unclassified malware samples it has discovered that it believes will have the greatest impact on improving global cyber-security."

CNMF’s initiative drew some criticism on Twitter because VirusTotal requires a paid subscription to download virus samples.

The CNMF was declared at full readiness in May when all 133 of its teams achieved ‘full operational capability’. As the ‘action arm’ of US Cybercom, the CNMF will identify and block hostile activity, provide cyber-security support for military operations, defend military information networks and prepare for potential cyber-combat.

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