Advanced corpus search


Quota consumption

This endpoint consumes VirusTotal API quota if user has private/premium API or VirusTotal Intelligence quota if user only has VirusTotal Intelligence.


Special privileges required

This endpoint is only available for users with premium privileges.


Searches using a fuzzy hash (ssdeep, TLSH, ...) are throttled due to performance reasons. The typical throttler is 15 searches / minute.

This endpoint allows to search for files in the VirusTotal's dataset, using the same query syntax that you would use in the VirusTotal Intelligence user interface. URL Safe encoding must be used when using this endpoint programatically.

The result from this endpoint is a collection of file objects that match the given query. If the descriptors_only parameter is set to true, the resulting collection will contain only the object descriptors. This is useful if you are interested in getting only the SHA-256 of the matching files. In those cases you better set descriptors_only=true for reducing the latency of your requests.


Content searches can not be sorted

If your query contains content search the order parameter will make no effect.

The order parameter defines the order in which results are returned. They can be followed by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign for indicating ascending or descending order respectively (i.e: <order>+, <order>-). If no ascending/descending order is specified it's assumed to be ascending, so <order> and <order>+ are equivalent. If the order parameter is not provided, items are returned in a default order. The following table shows supported and default orders for every kind of entity:

Entity typeSupported ordersDefault order
filefirst_submission_date, last_submission_date, positives, times_submitted, sizelast_submission_date-
urlfirst_submission_date, last_submission_date, positives, times_submitted, statuslast_submission_date-
domaincreation_date, last_modification_date, last_update_date, positiveslast_modification_date-
ipip, last_modification_date, positiveslast_modification_date-

This request returns a list of API objects (files, URLs, IP addresses or domains).

Also, some context attributes are added in certain searches:

  • When searching files by content. These context attributes are:

    • confidence: <float> match confidence.
    • match_in_subfile: <boolean> whether the content match was found in a subfile or not.
    • snippet: <string> snippet ID. This ID can be later used in /intelligence/search/snippets/{id} endpoint.
  • When doing a hash similarity search:

    • similarity_score: <float> number between 0 and 1 indicating the percentage of the fuzzy hash that matched. For example, 1.0 indicates the hash is the same as the specified; 0.5 that half of the hash matches the one given.
  "data": [
      "context_attributes": {
        "confidence": 1,
        "match_in_subfile": false,
        "snippet": "L3Z0c2FtcGxlcy8zODIzMzkzNjNhOTM2NDM2ZDM2MDM1MzFkM2IzOGEzMmUzMTUzNzM3MTM4MzY3MzBlM2Q2MzQ4MzY1M2MzYzNhfHw3MTg1Mzk2OjExfHwxNTk5NDY0OTQ3fHwzODIzMzkzNjNhOTM2NDM2ZDM2MDM1MzFkM2IzOGEzMmUzMTUzNzM3MTM4MzY3MzBlM2Q2MzQ4MzY1M2MzYzNh"
      "id": "382339363a936436d3603531d3b38a32e315373713836730e3d63483653c3c3a",
      "type": "file"
  "links": {
    "next": "",
    "self": ""
  "meta": {
    "cursor": "H4sIAAA...",
    "days_back": 365
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