Scientists and researchers at Georgia Tech University have developed a new piece of software that can thwart many methods used during malware attacks.
The prototype software, known as Gyrus, takes steps to prevent malware from sending spam emails and instant messages, as well as blocking any unauthorised money transfers.
Researchers said: "Imagine a user who intends to send $2 to a friend through PayPal. Embedded malware in the user's laptop, however, converts the $2 transaction into a $2,000 transfer to the account of the malware author instead."
Wenke Lee, director of the Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), said Gyrus acts as a transparent layer on top of the window of an application, meaning the user experience will not be altered.
"Of course, if Gyrus detects that user-intended data has been tampered with, it will block the traffic and also notify the user," he said.
Users help Gyrus do its job by establishing pre-defined rules that help the software determine whether commands - authorised or not - fit with established user intentions.
By Asim Shah