As I’ve previously written more than a few times I use Firefox as my primary Internet Browser because of extensive amount of add-ons and scripts available. This helps to make the browser a ‘super tool’ for me. With Firefox I can block unwanted adds and scripts, stop annoying ‘auto play’ music and videos, download just about any video, picture or file, FTP from within my browser, download/convert to PDF nearly any web page and many other cool and productive things.
Now I can add virus scanning files BEFORE I download files to that list.
The VTzilla Firefox extension adds a Scan with VirusTotal option to Firefox’s right-click context menu and file download dialog that allows you to scan any file for a virus before you commit to downloading it to your computer.
VirusTotal is a service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs enabling the identification of viruses, worms, trojans and other kinds of malicious content detected by antivirus engines and web analysis toolbars.
It’s a brilliant web service that scans any file you send it against 42 of the best malware scanners available.
They now have an add-on for Firefox that let’s you scan via a simply ‘right-click’ on a file you intend to download.
The first thing you must do is to install the add-on itself, you can do this by RIGHT-clicking on the following this link while visiting this site with Firefox and choosing ‘Save Link As, then save it to your desktop or where ever. Then simply drag the file (.xpi) into an open Firefox browser window and it should start the install process. Make sure to choose to ‘Allow’ and install.
Note: By default, VTzilla turns on a new toolbar in Firefox. To disable it, navigate to View -> Toolbars, then uncheck VirusTotal Toolbar.
After installing the component you will have to restart Firefox to start making use of it, below you can find some examples of use.
Scan suspicious links with VTzilla
Imagine you have logged into your Gmail account and you have received a suspicious email from your bank. The email is informing you about an unauthorized access to your account and is asking you to follow a link and provide your credentials to view the account access log.
Since you are a smart guy, you know that this mail is probably a phishing case. Even though you know that this is a scam, you are committed to help others, hence, you right click on the suspicious link and select the Scan with VirusTotal option from the context menu:
This will open a new tab in the same browser window, such tab will show the report for the requested URL scan. Note that the scanning process will also download the file/site of the target link, so do not forget to click on the View downloaded file analysis link.
Scan downloads before storing them
Let us suppose your good friend John Doe has sent you an email with a slide presentation. You know that very often these slides contain exploit code that will compromise your computer. When you click on the slide presentation in your webmail a download dialog appears, you are a cautious user, you therefore decide to scan the file first with VirusTotal:
Once you have checked the file, you will decide whether or not to download it to your PC.
Warning!!: VirusTotal is not a substitute for any antivirus software installed in a PC, since it only scans individual files on demand. It does not offer permanent protection for users’ systems either.