Tiny Banker Trojan

What is Tiny Banker Trojan (Tinba)?

This guide provides a thorough understanding of what the Tiny Banker Trojan is, how it spreads and infects systems, its operating mechanisms and effective methods of removal and prevention.

What is Tiny Banker Trojan?

The “Tiny Banker Trojan,” also known as Tinba, is a type of malware specifically designed to steal financial information, such as banking credentials and credit card details, from infected computers.

Tinba is distinct due to its small size, making it challenging to detect, and its highly sophisticated capabilities for stealing financial and personal information.

Origins and Evolution of Tinba

First discovered in 2012, this banking trojan is a variant of the Zeus malware family and is responsible for countless financial losses, identity theft, and data breaches.

Over the years, Tinba has evolved, with different versions featuring new functionalities and improved evasion techniques. These evolutions have allowed it to remain a potent threat to both individuals and organizations.

What sets Tinba apart is its remarkably small size, typically around 20KB.

Functionality and Capabilities

Tinba is primarily designed to target online banking systems, seeking to steal login credentials, personal information, and financial data.

Tinba operates by using packet sniffing to monitor when a user navigates to a banking website.

Its main functionalities include:

1. Keystroke Logging

It records every keystroke made on an infected system, capturing usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information entered by the victim.

2. Web Form Grabbing

It intercepts data submitted through web forms, such as credit card details, social security numbers, and answers to security questions.

3. Man-in-the-Browser Attacks

Tinba injects malicious code into the victim’s web browser, allowing attackers to manipulate web pages, intercept transactions, and alter account balances without the victim’s knowledge.

4. Antivirus Evasion

Tinba employs various techniques to evade detection by antivirus software, including polymorphic code and rootkit functionality.

Distribution Methods

Tinba employs several distribution methods to infect target systems, including:

1. Malicious Email Attachments

It is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or links which, when opened, install the Trojan on the victim’s system.

2. Drive-by Downloads

Infected websites can exploit vulnerabilities in the victim’s web browser or plugins to silently download and install the Trojan. This method is known as a drive-by download attack.

3. Malvertising

Malicious ads on legitimate websites can redirect users to compromised sites that automatically download the Trojan.

4. Exploit Kits

These kits can exploit vulnerabilities in web browsers, plugins, or other software to silently download and install Trojans without the user’s knowledge.

5. Social Engineering

Attackers may trick users into downloading and installing the Trojan by disguising it as a legitimate update or application.

Removal and Mitigation

How to remove the Tinba virus

Removing Tiny Banker Trojan can be challenging due to its persistence and stealth.

Here are steps to help remove it:

  • Use reputable antivirus or anti-malware software to scan and remove the Trojan.
  • Disconnect the infected computer from the internet to prevent further data leakage.
  • Change all passwords and login credentials for online banking and sensitive accounts.
  • Continuously monitor your financial transactions for any unauthorized activity.

Prevention Methods

Preventing Tinba Trojan infections requires a combination of security measures, awareness, and best practices. Here are several prevention methods to help protect your systems and data:

1. Regular Updates

Regularly update your operating system and all software to protect against known vulnerabilities.

2. Antivirus Software

Install and maintain reputable antivirus software with real-time protection.

3. Safe Online Practices

Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious sources. Use two-factor authentication for online banking and other sensitive accounts.

4. Education and Awareness

Stay aware of the latest phishing and social engineering techniques and educate those around you.

5. Data Backup

Regularly backup important data to an external drive or cloud storage.


Tinba has had a considerable impact on the banking industry, with more than 20 major US banking institutions being infected. It has also been used in international incidents, targeting customers of various banks worldwide.

Its source code was leaked online, leading to various revisions and more sophisticated iterations of the malware.

The Tiny Banker Trojan remains a significant threat to financial institutions and individuals. Understanding how it operates, how it spreads, and implementing strong security measures is essential to protecting your financial information from this deadly malware.

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