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VirusTotal Adds Collections Feature for Better Collaboration and Context

VirusTotal, a key repository of malware samples and suspicious files for security researchers and defenders, is introducing a new service that enables users to collaborate and share data and indicators of compromise in real time.

The Collections feature allows any user to create a new collection for a file or malware sample that includes a variety of different IOCs, such as file hashes, domains or URLs or other information. The collection can also include a description and VirusTotal will add other information to the collection, such as tags and metadata.

Researchers and security teams often use informal methods such as Twitter, Pastebin, or Dropbox for sharing IOCs, threat intelligence, hashes of malware samples, and lists of suspicious domains. There are also a number of private forums in which that information is shared, but those tend to be small and so data is not disseminated widely. Those methods work for specific use cases, but getting threat information out to the widest possible audience of defenders and researchers can make a significant difference in heading off attacks.

The VirusTotal Collections feature is designed to enable researchers and defenders to update their contributions as needed and allow others to consume them.

“Collection owners can update these by adding or removing IoCs. They are public via our UI and API, and they can be shared using their permalink. This makes it a very convenient way of linking to listings of IoCs in blog posts, research reports and the like,” Juan Infantes of VirusTotal said in a post.

VirusTotal has been the default platform for checking potentially malicious files and URLs for many years, and has evolved into a resource for community sharing and discussion, as well.

“Time evolves and now most investigations go beyond one observable, quickly adding up several indicators of compromise (IOCs) for one single incident . With many security researchers sharing their findings in blog posts and tweets, it’s getting hard to keep track of all these data inputs. Moreover, these investigations change over time bringing more difficulty into reporting the new findings,” Infantes said.