FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

How to remove the TeaBot malware from your Android device?

Also Known As: TeaBot trojan
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What is TeaBot?

TeaBot is a piece of malicious software categorized as a banking trojan with RAT (Remote Access Tool/Trojan) capabilities. This malware targets Android operating systems.

Its primary functionality is extraction of information related to online banking. At the time of research, its target list included more than sixty European banks.

TeaBot also operates as a RAT; hence, it can enable remote access and control over infected devices. Malicious programs of this type can allow for near-limitless control over compromised machines.

Like many Android-specific RATs, TeaBot uses the Accessibility Services to gain control over devices. These services are designed to help users that require additional aid in reading and interacting with their devices.

Hence, the Android Accessibility Services have access to what is displayed on the screen, and they can simulate the touchscreen. If the Accessibility Services are not enabled, the malware bombards users with pop-up windows that ask permissions for these services.

Once the permissions are allowed, TeaBot can use the Accessibility Services to grant itself additional access without user interference (by simulating gestures and touches/clicks). TeaBot has many heinous functionalities.

As mentioned in the introduction, acquiring banking data is its priority. This trojan can obtain said information by overlaying the screen with fake sign-in windows of certain banking applications.

Therefore, the malware can steal log-in credentials (i.e., IDs, email addresses, usernames, and passwords) as well as credit card numbers - through these fraudulent screens. TeaBot can also use its keylogging abilities (i.e., key-stroke recording) to acquire this information even when users sign in or otherwise interact with genuine websites and applications.

Online bank accounts are not the only services of interest; the malicious program can steal log-in credentials of other accounts/platforms through the Android Settings and Google Authentication 2FA codes.

Other notable features of TeaBot include (but are not limited to): taking screenshots; hiding, intercepting, and sending text messages (SMSes); using device-supported biometric modalities; altering audio settings (e.g., muting the device); disabling Google Protect; deleting installed apps.

To summarize, TeaBot infections can result in serious privacy issues, significant financial losses, and even identity theft. If it is known/suspected that TeaBot (or other malware) has already infected the system - an anti-virus must be used to remove it immediately.

TeaBot malware detections on VirusTotal

Threat Summary:
Name TeaBot trojan
Threat Type Android malware, malicious application, unwanted application.
Detection Names (TeaTV disguise) Avast-Mobile (Android:Evo-gen [Trj]), BitDefenderFalx (Android.Trojan.Banker.ST), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Android/TrojanDropper.Agent.G), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS.Regon.p), Full List (VirusTotal)
Detection Names (VLC Media Player disguise) Avast-Mobile (Android:Evo-gen [Trj]), BitDefenderFalx (Android.Trojan.Banker.TQ), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of Android/TrojanDropper.Agent.HOG), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS.Regon.p), Full List (VirusTotal)
Symptoms The device is running slow, system settings are modified without user's permission, questionable applications appear, data and battery usage is increased significantly, browsers redirect to questionable websites, intrusive advertisements are delivered.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, deceptive applications, scam websites.
Damage Stolen personal information (private messages, logins/passwords, etc.), decreased device performance, battery is drained quickly, decreased Internet speed, huge data losses, monetary losses, stolen identity (malicious apps might abuse communication apps).
Malware Removal (Android) To eliminate malware infections our security researchers recommend scanning your Android device with legitimate anti-malware software. We recommend Avast, Bitdefender, ESET or Malwarebytes.

GhimobAlienBot BankerMRAT, and ThiefBot are some examples of malware targeting Androids. Malicious programs can have a broad range of functionalities, which can be in different combinations.

To elaborate, malware can: enable remote access/control over devices, exfiltrate (download) content stored on the system, extract information from browsers and other installed applications, record keystrokes and/or audio/video via microphones and cameras, infiltrate (upload) and execute files (i.e., install additional malicious software), encrypt data and/or lock the device's screen for ransom purposes (ransomware), and so forth.

Regardless of how malware operates, its infections endanger device and user safety.

How did TeaBot infiltrate my device?

TeaBot has been observed being distributed and hidden on devices under the guise of genuine applications, such as - TeaTV, VLC Media Player, DHL and UPS shipping/delivery services, etc. Malicious programs are often presented as or bundled with legitimate software/media.

They are commonly spread through untrustworthy download sources, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders. Illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updates are notable examples of malware-proliferating content. "Cracking" tools can infect systems instead of activating licensed programs.

While fake updaters cause infections by exploiting weaknesses of outdated software and/or by installing malware rather than the promised updates. Spam campaigns are also used to distribute malware.

This term is used to describe a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive/scam emails are sent. These letters contain download links of infectious files, and/or the files are attached to the emails.

Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, and so on. When the files are executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process is initiated.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is highly recommended to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, only official and verified download channels must be used.

It is just as important to activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by legitimate developers. To avoid infecting the device via spam mail, it is advised against opening dubious and irrelevant emails - especially any links or attachments found in them.

It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept up-to-date. Furthermore, this software has to be used to perform regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues.

Quick menu:

Delete browsing history from the Chrome web browser:

Deleting web browsing history from Chrome in Android operating system (step 1)

Tap the "Menu" button (three dots on the right-upper corner of the screen) and select "History" in the opened dropdown menu.

Deleting web browsing history from Chrome in Android operating system (step 2)

Tap "Clear browsing data", select "ADVANCED" tab, choose the time range and data types you want to delete and tap "Clear data".

[Back to Table of Contents]

Disable browser notifications in the Chrome web browser:

Disabling browser notifications in the Chrome browser in Android operating system (step 1)

Tap the "Menu" button (three dots on the right-upper corner of the screen) and select "Settings" in the opened dropdown menu.

Disabling browser notifications in the Chrome browser in Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Site settings" option and tap it. Scroll down until you see "Notifications" option and tap it.

Disabling browser notifications in the Chrome browser in Android operating system (step 3)

Find the websites that deliver browser notifications, tap on them and click "Clear & reset". This will remove permissions granted for these websites to deliver notifications. However, once you visit the same site again, it may ask for a permission again.

You can choose whether to give these permissions or not (if you choose to decline the website will go to "Blocked" section and will no longer ask you for the permission).

[Back to Table of Contents]

Reset the Chrome web browser:

Resetting Chrome browser to default in Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Apps" and tap it.

Resetting Chrome browser to default in Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you find "Chrome" application, select it and tap "Storage" option.

Resetting Chrome browser to default in Android operating system (step 3)

Tap "MANAGE STORAGE", then "CLEAR ALL DATA" and confirm the action by taping "OK". Note that resetting the browser will eliminate all data stored within.

This means that all saved logins/passwords, browsing history, non-default settings and other data will be deleted. You will also have to re-login into all websites as well.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Delete browsing history from the Firefox web browser:

Delete browsing history from the Firefox in the Android operating system (step 1)

Tap the "Menu" button (three dots on the right-upper corner of the screen) and select "History" in the opened dropdown menu.

Delete browsing history from the Firefox in the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Clear private data" and tap it. Select data types you want to remove and tap "CLEAR DATA".

[Back to Table of Contents]

Disable browser notifications in the Firefox web browser:

Disable browser notifications in the Firefox web browser in the Android operating system (step 1)

Visit the website that is delivering browser notifications, tap the icon displayed on the left of URL bar (the icon will not necessarily be a "Lock") and select "Edit Site Settings".

Disable browser notifications in the Firefox web browser in the Android operating system (step 2)

In the opened pop-up opt-in the "Notifications" option and tap "CLEAR".

[Back to Table of Contents]

Reset the Firefox web browser:

Resetting Firefox browser in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Apps" and tap it.

Resetting Firefox browser in the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you find "Firefox" application, select it and tap "Storage" option.

Resetting Firefox browser in the Android operating system (step 3)

Tap "CLEAR DATA" and confirm the action by taping "DELETE". Note that resetting the browser will eliminate all data stored within.

This means that all saved logins/passwords, browsing history, non-default settings and other data will be deleted. You will also have to re-login into all websites as well.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Uninstall potentially unwanted and/or malicious applications:

Removing unwanted/malicious applications from the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Apps" and tap it.

Removing unwanted/malicious applications from the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see a potentially unwanted and/or malicious application, select it and tap "Uninstall". If, for some reason, you are unable to remove the selected app (e.g., you are prompted with an error message), you should try using the "Safe Mode".

[Back to Table of Contents]

Boot the Android device in "Safe Mode":

The "Safe Mode" in Android operating system temporarily disables all third-party applications from running. Using this mode is a good way to diagnose and solve various issues (e.g., remove malicious applications that prevent users you from doing so when the device is running "normally").

Booting Android device in Safe Mode

Push the "Power" button and hold it until you see the "Power off" screen. Tap the "Power off" icon and hold it. After a few seconds the "Safe Mode" option will appear and you'll be able run it by restarting the device.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Check the battery usage of various applications:

Checking the battery usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Device maintenance" and tap it.

Checking the battery usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 2)

Tap "Battery" and check the usage of each application. Legitimate/genuine applications are designed to use as low energy as possible in order to provide the best user experience and to save power. Therefore, high battery usage may indicate that the application is malicious.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Check the data usage of various applications:

Checking data usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Connections" and tap it.

Checking data usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Data usage" and select this option. As with battery, legitimate/genuine applications are designed to minimize data usage as much as possible.

This means that huge data usage may indicate presence of malicious application. Note that some malicious applications might be designed to operate when the device is connected to wireless network only.

For this reason, you should check both Mobile and Wi-Fi data usage.

Checking data usage of various applications in the Android operating system (step 3)

If you find an application that uses a lot of data even though you never use it, then we strongly advise you to uninstall it as soon as possible.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Install the latest software updates:

Keeping the software up-to-date is a good practice when it comes to device safety. The device manufacturers are continually releasing various security patches and Android updates in order to fix errors and bugs that can be abused by cyber criminals.

An outdated system is way more vulnerable, which is why you should always be sure that your device's software is up-to-date.

Installing software updates in the Android operating system (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Software update" and tap it.

Installing software updates in the Android operating system (step 2)

Tap "Download updates manually" and check if there are any updates available. If so, install them immediately. We also recommend to enable the "Download updates automatically" option - it will enable the system to notify you once an update is released and/or install it automatically.

[Back to Table of Contents]

Reset the system to its default state:

Performing a "Factory Reset" is a good way to remove all unwanted applications, restore system's settings to default and clean the device in general. However, you must keep in mind that all data within the device will be deleted, including photos, video/audio files, phone numbers (stored within the device, not the SIM card), SMS messages, and so forth. In other words, the device will be restored to its primal state.

You can also restore the basic system settings and/or simply network settings as well.

Resetting the Android operating system to its default (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "About phone" and tap it.

Resetting the Android operating system to its default (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Reset" and tap it. Now choose the action you want to perform:
"Reset settings" - restore all system settings to default;
"Reset network settings" - restore all network-related settings to default;
"Factory data reset" - reset the entire system and completely delete all stored data;

[Back to Table of Contents]

Disable applications that have administrator privileges:

If a malicious application gets administrator-level privileges it can seriously damage the system. To keep the device as safe as possible you should always check what apps have such privileges and disable the ones that shouldn't.

Disabling Android applications that have administrator privileges (step 1)

Go to "Settings", scroll down until you see "Lock screen and security" and tap it.

Disabling Android applications that have administrator privileges (step 2)

Scroll down until you see "Other security settings", tap it and then tap "Device admin apps".

Disabling Android applications that have administrator privileges (step 3)

Identify applications that should not have administrator privileges, tap them and then tap "DEACTIVATE".

Click to post a comment

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
TeaBot trojan QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of TeaBot trojan on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.