Canadian company ParetoLogic has become the first vendor to offer an anti-spyware tool for use from portable U3 USB drives.

The company’s new XOFTspy Portable software would typically be used to protect roaming users from the threat of malware, such as password-stealing Trojans, when connecting back to company networks from PCs in hotels, business centres and cybercafes.

As well as scanning the host PC for malware, the program also claims to be able to stop malware installing itself on the U3 drive itself; from where there is a danger it can be transported back into a company or infect another PC.

Using the U3 standard means that the software can be licensed to be run on multiple PCs because no trace of the program remains on the host machine once the USB drive has been unplugged.

"XOFTspy Portable is a great addition to U3 Software Central as the first portable anti-spyware application for U3 smart drive users," said Esther Kruijver of the U3 consortium, which will be pleased that the small number of security applications available for the platform has a new name on the list.

"Now, our customers can take U3 smart drives from PC to PC knowing that every computer they work on is protected by one of the best portable tools designed specifically to fight spyware."

The U3 industry consortium website lists only one other product for detecting malware, Antivirus U3 Edition from Avast!, an anti-virus product.

As reported by Techworld, U3 first appeared in 2004, and is backed by Sandisk and Msystems.

The company says it derived the U3 version from an established anti-spyware application, XoftSpySE, but the absence of large companies form the U3 market two years after launch raises questions about its long-term viability.

So far, the overwhelming majority of U3 programs have come from small independent software companies.

The software costs $14.95, and is sold exclusively from the software section of the U3 website.