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How to remove CriminalBot malware

Also Known As: CriminalBot virus
Type: Trojan
Damage level: Severe

What kind of malware is CriminalBot?

CriminalBot is a piece of malicious software targeting Android users. Malicious software on Android devices can have various capabilities, including data theft, spying and surveillance, unauthorized access, ad fraud, and more. Thus, CriminalBot should be removed from affected devices as soon as possible.

CriminalBot Android malware

More about CriminalBot

CriminalBot might attempt to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials, personal data, or financial details, from the infected device. This could lead to financial loss, identity theft, and other issues. Also, it could potentially monitor user activities, including calls, messages, and browsing behavior, to compromise user privacy.

Furthermore, CriminalBot might aim to gain unauthorized access to the device, allowing attackers to control it remotely or use it as part of a botnet. This could lead to the unauthorized use of the device, compromising data, and potentially launching further attacks.

Additionally, it could be involved in ad fraud, generating fraudulent ad clicks or views to generate revenue for the attackers. In some cases, Android malware may encrypt the device's data and demand a ransom for decryption. This can result in victims losing access to their important files, and paying a ransom may not guarantee the safe recovery of the data.

Overall, the damages resulting from CriminalBot's activities can range from financial losses and privacy breaches to potential device control and extortion attempts. It is crucial for Android users to remain vigilant, use trusted security measures, and follow best practices to safeguard their devices from such threats.

Threat Summary:
Name CriminalBot virus
Threat Type Android malware, malicious application, unwanted application.
Detection Names Avira (ANDROID/Bankbot.FRLO.Gen), DrWeb (Android.BankBot.1073.origin), Fortinet (Android/PossibleThreat), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Banker.AndroidOS.Banbra.ah), Symantec (Trojan.Gen.MBT), 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 possible malware infections, scan your mobile device with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
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for Android

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.

Android malware in general

Android malware refers to malicious software specifically designed to target Android devices, such as smartphones and tablets. It can enter devices through infected apps, malicious websites, or phishing attempts. Once installed, Android malware may steal sensitive data, spy on user activities, display intrusive ads, or even take control of the device.

More examples of Android malware are WyrmSpy, DragonEgg, and HelloTeacher.

How did CriminalBot infiltrate my device?

Users can inadvertently infect their Android devices with malware through various means. One common method is downloading apps from unverified or unofficial app stores, which may host infected or malicious apps. Sometimes, cybercriminals are capable of exploiting legitimate app stores for malware distribution.

Additionally, clicking on suspicious links in emails or messages and visiting malicious websites can lead to drive-by downloads, where malware is automatically downloaded and installed without the user's knowledge. Malicious ads can also infect devices.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Only download apps from official app stores, such as Google Play Store, to minimize the risk of installing malware-infected apps. Read reviews before installing apps. Keep your Android device's operating system and all installed apps up to date with the latest security patches and updates to prevent known vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Be cautious when granting excessive permissions to apps during installation. Avoid opening suspicious links in emails or messages and refrain from downloading attachments from unknown sources, as they may lead to malware infections. Install reputable antivirus or security apps to detect and block potential threats.

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)

My computer is infected with CriminalBot malware, should I format my storage device to get rid of it?

Run a full system scan using reputable antivirus or anti-malware software like Combo Cleaner to identify and remove the CriminalBot malware. Security software might be able to remove the malware without the need for formatting.

What are the biggest issues that malware can cause?

The impact of malware varies depending on its type and can result in identity theft, data encryption, financial losses, decreased computer performance, and potential further infections.

What is the purpose of a malware?

While each malware operates uniquely, its common purpose is to generate revenue. However, financial motives are not the only reason behind malware usage. Cybercriminals may deploy malware for personal reasons, to disrupt specific processes, target companies, or even launch attacks on countries. Some malicious actors engage in such activities solely for their amusement.

How did a malware infiltrate my computer?

High-risk malware commonly spreads through diverse phishing and social engineering techniques, such as malspam and fake system warning messages, along with drive-by downloads, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks, and unofficial software download websites. Additionally, certain malware possesses the ability to self-propagate across local networks and removable storage devices like external hard drives and USB flash drives.

Will Combo Cleaner protect me from malware?

Combo Cleaner is equipped to detect and remove nearly all recognized malware infections. However, it is essential to be aware that sophisticated malware often conceals itself deeply within the system. Therefore, conducting a full system scan is imperative to ensure comprehensive detection and eradication of potential threats.

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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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