TechRadar reports that scientists from the U.K.'s Liverpool Hope University have developed a device that allows users to prevent data theft and other cybercrime through malicious USB devices.

The devices, while convenient for transferring data, are common pathways through which cyber criminals perform malicious attacks. Dr. Shishir Kumar Shandilya and Professor Atulya Nagar, the project's leaders, said the main issue is that a computer's operating system typically considers a flash drive as a trusted component, adding that without the proper restrictions allowing users to access data through the USB device, a malicious one can run a default auto run script that can be used to deliver the threat actor's intended payload to the computer, such as viruses, keyloggers, Trojans, Remote Access Trojans and Spyware.

To prevent this from happening, the researchers developed an intermediate device that sits between the flash drive and a computer's USB port, which serves as a gateway that scans the USB device for potential malware.