Home Cyber Security News Android Trojan TeaBot Emerges As A New Malware Targeting European Banks

Android Trojan TeaBot Emerges As A New Malware Targeting European Banks

by Abeerah Hashim
TeaBot Android banking Trojan

One more Android banking trojan TeaBot has surfaced online that does not belong to any of the existing trojan families. This malware is currently running active campaigns against banks in different European countries.

About TeaBot Android Trojan

Security researchers from Cleafy have caught the new TeaBot malware active in the wild.

Sharing their analysis, the researchers revealed that the malware is so named to clarify its uniqueness from other known banking trojans.

In brief, TeaBot is a typical Android banking trojan that aims at stealing users’ credentials and SMS to conduct fraud. The malware has a predefined list of over 60 banks that it currently targets.

To spread the attack, the malware reaches a target device as it mimics a legitimate app. Initially, the malware app bore the name “TeaTV”. Later, it changed the name to “VLC MediaPlayer”, alongside adopting a few more names such as “DHL”, “Mobdro”, and “UPS” to trick Android users.

Upon reaching a device, the malware establishes itself by seeking various permissions. These include access to messages, phonebook, audio settings, device biometric modalities, draw over other apps, and Android Accessibility Service.

With these privileges, the malware conducts different malicious activities to steal data, such as keylogging, extracting the list of installed apps (presumably to check for the presence of the targeted bank app), taking screenshots, and perform overlay attacks.

What makes it distinct and somewhat evasive is that it generates less traffic by typically targeting the predefined apps only. Also, the malware bears a lot of junk code and executes partially encrypted communication using Xor. Plus, the malware app basically serves as a dropper that only drops the actual payload after verifying the existence of the target bank app on the infected device. These techniques help the malware to stay under the radar.

Malware Active Against European Banks

The researchers first observed TeaBot running active campaigns against Spanish banks in January 2021. Since then, the malware underwent improvisations to expand its target list. By March 2021, the malware included German and Italian banks on its hit list. And by May 2021, aimed at Belgium and the Netherlands banks too.

Currently, the banking trojan supports Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, French, and English languages. While it’s currently in its initial development, TeaBot is swiftly developing for more aggressive campaigns in the future.

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