Gibon Ransomware Removal Guide (Full Instructions)

An infection with the dangerous Gibon Ransomware leads to serious security issues. Victims can restore and protect their computers by following our complete removal guide.

Remove Gibon Ransomware and Restore PC
Manual Removal Guide
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Distribution of Gibon Ransomware

The Gibon Ransomware is a malware threat which at the moment has been spotted in a very limited attack wave. Due to the yet unknown criminals behind its launch the security experts cannot deduce which is the primary distribution method. As such we suspect that the most popular strategies are going to be employed.

One of them relies on creating email messages in an automated way which all deliver the Gibon Ransomware to the targets. A common way of doing this is by attaching the strains directly to the messages. This is one of the easiest way for the criminals to attempt the infection. However a lot of email hosting providers usually capture the signatures of the virus and as such discard such messages or label them as dangerous or spam. Other infection methods related to this one is the option of inserting hyperlinks in the body content of the messages. The links are usually labeled as leading to a familiar website or a file of user interest. Redirects can redirect to hacker-controlled sites, infected payloads or other instances that can lead to an Gibon Ransomware infection.

The computer criminals behind the malware can create malicious sites or download portals which distribute malware of different kinds, including the Gibon Ransomware. A popular option is the use of infected documents which may be of different types ‒ spreadsheets, rich text documents, presentations and databases. They are modified to initiate the virus once the built-in scripts are run. Usually when the files are opened a notification will ask the users to run the macros (scripts). If this is done the infection follows.

The hacker-controlled sites are specialist portals that have been created either manually or automatically by the criminals behind the Gibon` Ransomware. They can either directly distribute the threat by initiating various scripts or automated operations or link to such instances. Redirects are usually caused by email interaction, ad networks or other browsing activity. However one of the main sources is the availability of browser hijackers. They are malicious addons made for the most popular web browsers ‒ Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Microsoft Edge and Safari. Once installed they not only infect the users with the malware, but also redirect the victims to a hacker-controlled site. Depending on the configuration the browser hijackers can also steal sensitive information such as any stored passwords, account credentials, history, bookmarks, form data and settings.

Impact of Gibon Ransomware

The Gibon ransomware is a newly discovered malware instance which caused several infections around the world. The reported incidents caused the security researchers to look into the virus instance. Unfortunately there is a very limited number of samples captured on the wild which it very hard to judge which is the primary infection strategy.

The initial code analysis also does not reveal a correlation between the source and any of the famous malware families. This means that it is very likely that the hacker or the criminal collective behind it have made it from scratch or borrowing unknown code. It is a complex threat which has been found to feature numerous attack modules. As a consequence the infection sequence is divided into two main parts which are executed one after the other ‒ the pre-encryption and the encryption phase.

One of the most important aspects is the ability to hide itself from some anti-virus scanning engines. This is done by using a anti-reverse engineering technique. It is able to counter both security software, virtual machines and debugging environments. A detailed information gathering algorithm is included. The virus extracts various types of data from the infected computer: regional settings, installed applications, hardware components and user settings. This is used to compute the unique infection ID which is made using a random number generators using input strings from the computed variables.

A thorough network connection is established with the hacker-controlled network servers. This is done in order not just to report the infection but also to receive any commands that might be sent by the hackers to the infected machine. Shell commands can be executed even with elevated privileges. Using this mechanism the victim machines can be infected with further malware.

This strategy can be also be used to develop additional features for the Gibon ransomware. The code analysis shows that the main engine has the ability to load external components which allows the hackers to use the threat to cause the initial infection and depending on the system type and intended goals to load remotely other parts.

Once all preliminary steps have complete the Gibon ransomware starts the encryption engine. Like other popular threats it uses a built-in list of target file type extensions. As always the most popular data is affected:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Backups
  • Archives
  • Databases
  • Configuration Files

Once this the process has complete all victim files are renamed with the .encrypt extension. A file named READ_ME_NOW.txt is used to contain the ransomware note:

Attention! All the files are encrypted!
To restore the files, write to the mail:bomboms123@mail.ru
If you do not receive a response from this mail within 24 hours,
then write to the subsidiary:yourfood20@mail.ru

The way Gibon ransomware executes this procedure based on a non-standard procedure. The way the private encryption key is utilized is the following:

  1. When the Gibon ransomware is initially launched it contacts the remote hacker servers over the Internet to report the infection. The data sent contains a lot of information regarding the infected computer.
  2. Next, the the infected computer is given a base64 encoded string which is used during the encryption process.

Victims of the threat should not interact with the hackers in any way. The only effective solution to restore the affected data and delete the active infections. Follow our guide below for detailed instructions.

Remove Gibon Ransomware and Restore PC

WARNING! Manual removal of the Gibon Ransomware requires being familiar with system files and registries. Removing important data accidentally can lead to permanent system damage. If you don’t feel comfortable with manual instructions, download a powerful anti-malware tool that will scan your system for malware and clean it safely for you.

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Gibon Ransomware – Manual Removal Steps

Start the PC in Safe Mode with Network

This will isolate all files and objects created by the ransomware so they will be removed efficiently. The steps bellow are applicable to all Windows versions.

1. Hit the WIN Key + R

2. A Run window will appear. In it, write msconfig and then press Enter

3. A Configuration box shall appear. In it Choose the tab named Boot

4. Mark Safe Boot option and then go to Network under it to tick it too

5. Apply -> OK

Remove Gibon from Windows

Here’s a way to remove the program. This method will work regardless if you’re on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP. Simply selecting the program and pressing delete won’t work, as it’ll leave a lot of small files. That’s bad because these leftovers can linger on and cause all sorts of problems. The best way to delete a program is to uninstall it. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Hold the “Windows” button (It’s between CTRL and Alt on most keyboards) and press “R”. You’ll see a pop-up window.

run-window-windows

2. In the textbox, type “appwiz.cpl”, then press“ Enter ”.

appwiz-cpl-command-run-windows

3. The “Programs and features” menu should now appear. It’s a list of all the programs installed on the PC. Here you can find the program, select it, and press “Uninstall“.

uninstall-malicious-software-control-panel-programs-features-windows

Remove Gibon Virus From Your Browser

Before resetting your browser’s settings, you should know that this action will wipe out all your recorded usernames, passwords, and other types of data. Make sure to save them in some way.

Removal guide for Mozilla Firefox Removal guide for Google Chrome Removal guide for Internet Explorer

    1. Start Mozilla Firefox. In the upper right corner, click on the Open menu icon and select “Add-ons“.
    add-ons-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    2. Inside the Add-ons Manager select “Extensions“. Search the list of extensions for suspicious entries. If you find any, select them and click “Remove“.
    remove-suspicious-extensions-mozilla-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    3. Click again on the Open menu icon, then click “Options“.
    options-mozilla-firefox-removal-browser-hijacker-guide

    4. In the Options window, under “General” tab, click “Restore to Default“.
    restore-to-default-settings-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    5. Select “Search” in the left menu, mark the unknown search engine and press “Remove”.
    search-remove-unknown-search-engine-mozilla-firefox-removal-guide-browser-hijacker

    1. Start Google Chrome. On the upper-right corner, there a “Customize and Control” menu icon. Click on it, then click on “Settings“.

    settings-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    2. Click “Extensions” in the left menu. Then click on the trash bin icon to remove the suspicious extension.
    delete-suspicious-extension-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    3. Again in the left menu, under Chrome, Click on “Settings“. Go under “On Startup” and set a new page.
    set-new-page-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    4. Afterward, scroll down to “Search“, click on “Manage search engines“.
    manage-search-engines-google-chrome-browser-hijacker-removal-guide

    5. In the default search settings list, find the unknown search engine and click on “X“. Then select your search engine of choice and click “Make default“. When you are ready click “Done” button in the right bottom corner.

1. Start Internet Explorer. Go to the “Tools” menu and click on “Manage add-ons“.
manage-add-ons-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker-bestsecuritysearch

2. In the “Manage add-ons” window, bellow “Add-on Types“, select “Toolbars and Extensions“. If you see a suspicious toolbar, select it and click “Remove“.
remove-suspicious-toolbars--internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

3. Then again in the “Manage Add-ons” window, in “Add-on Types“, Select “Search Providers“. Chose a search engine and click “Set as default“. Select the unknown search engine and click “Remove and Close”.
search-providers-set-engine-delete-suspicious-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

4. Open the Tools menu, select “Internet Options”.
internet-options-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

5. In the “General” tab, in “Home page”, enter your preferred page. Click “Apply” and “OK”.
enter-preferred-homepage-internet-explorer-removal-browser-hijacker

Repair Windows Registry

1. Again type simultaneously the WIN Key + R key combination

2. In the box, write regedit and hit Enter

3. Type the CTRL+ F and then write the malicious name in the search type field to locate the malicious executable

4. In case you have discovered registry keys and values related to the name, you should delete them, but be careful not to delete legitimate keys

Click for more information about Windows Registry and further repair help

Preventive Security Measures

  • Enable and properly configure your Firewall.
  • Install and maintain reliable anti-malware software.
  • Secure your web browser.
  • Check regularly for available software updates and apply them.
  • Disable macros in Office documents.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t open attachments or click on links unless you’re certain they’re safe.
  • Backup regularly your data.
  • Author : Martin Beltov

    Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.


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