Trusteer is taking its online banking security services a step further and will start removing malware that it finds trying to interfere with bank customers' financial transactions. Until now, Trusteer's Rapport service has simply blocked this kind of malware when it was detected on PCs using the Rapport browser-based security software, which banks offer directly to their customers to prevent financial fraud.

Going forward, Trusteer's anti-malware technology will try to eradicate the threat. "There's strong demand from the banks and end users," says Mickey Boodaei, CEO of Trusteer. The new process to scan PCs and clean them of specific types of financial malware will begin within the next few weeks, Boodaei expects.

About 60 financial organisations are said to have licensed Rapport for their banking customers, which include about 3 million users in the US and 4.5 million in the UK. 

The malware scanning and eradication feature will be optional in Rapport, but the intent is to wipe PCs clean of Trojans such as ZeuS, Silon, Bugat, DBJP, and zero-day malware that seeks to tamper with secured communications between the bank customer's PC and the bank's website.

"If we're unable to remove, we’ll notify the customer," Boodaei says about the process, which would likely include the display of an eradication-notification screen. He emphasises that Trusteer is not seeking to replace other anti-malware software that customers might be using. Trusteer's service will be looking specifically for malware that targets the security of bank transactions, not all malware that might otherwise be on a machine.

The onslaught over the past year of banking malware and criminal organisations using it has put the international financial community on the defensive as bank officers seek effective measures to protect their customers and financial institutions from stealthy attacks coming from compromised customer PCs.