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How to remove Coper malware

Also Known As: Coper banking malware
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is Coper?

Coper is the name of an Android banking Trojan. Our malware researchers discovered that Coper is linked to another Android malware called ExoBotCompat (a reformed version of Exobot). It targets various banking apps. We found that Coper impersonates various banking and utility apps (it uses them as droppers).

Coper Android malware

Coper malware in detail

Coper can send Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) requests, send SMS messages (and intercept them), lock and unlock the device screen, display push notifications, perform overlay attacks (display deceptive windows on specified apps), open URLs and run apps.

Also, Coper can log keystrokes (record data entered with a keyboard of the infected device), remove specified apps and remove itself (and its dropper). Additionally, certain Copper's droppers ask for permission to access various features, add voicemails, call phone numbers, read and write from and to external storage, modify system settings, and access and read SMS messages.

It is known that Coper targets banking applications in Europe, Australia, and some parts of South America. It is known that it is impersonating apps called Bancolombia Personas and poses as a Google Play Store application. This malware attempts to reinstall itself after removal.

Threat Summary:
Name Coper banking malware
Threat Type Android malware, malicious application, unwanted application.
Detection Names Avast-Mobile (Android:Evo-gen [Trj]), BitDefenderFalx (Android.Trojan.Marcher.AR), ESET-NOD32 (Android/Spy.Banker.AZL), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Dropper.AndroidOS.Agent.sm), 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 open questionable websites, shady push notifications are delivered.
Distribution methods Deceptive/fake applications, scam websites.
Damage Stolen personal information (private messages, logins/passwords, etc.), decreased device performance, battery is drained quickly, monetary losses, stolen identity, hijacker personal accounts.
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.

More about Coper malware

Coper can be used by threat actors as as a tool to steal sensitive information (e.g., credit card details, passwords), hijack personal accounts, steal money, and more. Having it installed on a device can lead to identity theft, monetary loss, loss of access to various accounts, and other issues.

More Android malware examples are MaliBot, Hydra, and BianLian.

How did Coper infiltrate my device?

Coper infects devices after downloading and installing fake/malicious applications (droppers). It was found that Coper infects devices via fake Bancolombia Personas apps and a Google Play Store app. Usually, threat actors use third-party/unofficial stores to trick users into downloading fake apps. They can also use Google Play Store, SMS messages, shady pages, and similar methods to distribute malware.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Download applications from official app stores and keep the Google Play Protect enabled. Read reviews before installing apps. Do not click links (or open files) in suspicious, irrelevant emails or SMS messages. Do not give permissions for suspicious apps. Keep the operating system and installed apps updated.

Screenshot of the Coper malware impersonating Google Play Store app (source: cyble[.]com):

coper banking trojan impersonating google play store

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".

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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).

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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.

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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".

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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".

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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;

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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".

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

Data loss (due to encryption), monetary loss, identity theft, hijacked personal accounts, and other issues related to online privacy, browsing safety, etc.

What is the purpose of Coper malware?

Coper is used to steal sensitive information and hijack accounts (mainly banking-related accounts).

How did Coper malware infiltrate my device?

Threat actors use fake applications (e.g., fake Google Play Store app) to trick users into infecting their devices with Coper. Those apps function as droppers for Coper. It is likely that cybercriminals use deceptive (third-party) stores to distribute malware.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and remove almost all known malware. If a device is infected with high-end malware, it has to be scanned using a full scan. Running a quick scan is not enough to remove malware of this kind.

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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.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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