GIBON virus - How to remove

GIBON virus is categorised as a ransomware – a pretty dangerous one. It was discovered by a famous cyber security researcher Matthew Mesa, this virus is still a bit of a mystery . The origin of the virus is unknown, but it is clear that this ransomware can cause detrimental damage.

Gibon ransomware is distributed by phishing emails. Macros can be found in the email distributing this ransomware, which is used to download and run malware payload on infected computer. Once again – opening emails from spam category is very dangerous and we encourage you not to do that.

GIBON virus remove

Once inside the computer, the very first thing done by Gibon virus is connection to the C&C server. In fact, this virus was dubbed Gibon because of the the string “GION” used in this connection. Why this connection is needed? It is like a registration of a new victim – most important information, such as base64 encoded string with a timestamp or Windows version of infected computer.

That’s all they need to successfully infect your computer – once it is registered on their server, a new unique key is created and most of the files stored on your hard drive encrypted. All encrypted files receives a new extension – .encrypt. So if you had a file named ‘myfile.txt’, now it will look like ‘myfile.txt.encrypt’. From this moment it is completely encrypted and you can’t open it anymore. For this reason this ransomware can also be called Encrypted virus.

When encryption process is over, GIBON ransomware connects to the C&C once again and sends the signal that the computer is completely encrypted and downloads two additional files – desktop.ini.encrypt and READ_ME_NOW.txt. this text file is so-called ransom note – instructions what you should do right now and how to decrypt your files. Original text of the file:

Attention! All the files are encrypted!
To restore the files, write to the mail: [email protected]
If you do not receive a response from this mail within 24 hours,
then write to the subsidiary: [email protected]

Owner of infected computer is encouraged to contact specified e-mail address within next 24 hours and receive further instructions. As you can see, both email addresses are registered in Russia and the virus itself features some Russian symbols and words, that leads to the conclusion that the virus was developed in Russia or at least has some links to this country. Some even say that it is somehow connected to Bad Rabbit virus, which is targeted to Russia and Eastern Europe and demands $285 as a ransom.

It is not known how much you will have to pay in order to decrypt files encrypted by GIBON, but we do not even need to know that, because there is a free way to decrypt files encrypted by this virus and solve this problem.

How to decrypt files encrypted by GIBON ransomware

Luckily, there is a free decryptor for GIBON ransomware and you can download it here. With the help of this free tool, you will be able to get back all your files for free. However, that’s not it regarding GIBON infection. Even if you decrypt and unlock your files, some files of the virus are still on your computer and they need to be removed as soon as possible.

The best way to remove files related to this ransomware is to download trustworthy anti-malware application, such as Spyhunter. Either one of those programs should immediately detect malicious files of GIBON virus and remove them for good. Keeping such a program installed on your computer will also ensure that similar threats won’t harm you in the future, because real-time protection feature will block all attempts to infect your computer on the go.

How to recover GIBON virus encrypted files and remove the virus

Step 1. Restore system into last known good state using system restore

1. Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt:

for Windows 7 / Vista/ XP
  • Start Shutdown RestartOK.
  • Press F8 key repeatedly until Advanced Boot Options window appears.
  • Choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Windows 7 enter safe mode

for Windows 8 / 10
  • Press Power at Windows login screen. Then press and hold Shift key and click Restart. Windows 8-10 restart to safe mode
  • Choose TroubleshootAdvanced OptionsStartup Settings and click Restart.
  • When it loads, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt from the list of Startup Settings. Windows 8-10 enter safe mode

2.Restore System files and settings.

  • When Command Prompt mode loads, enter cd restore and press Enter.
  • Then enter rstrui.exe and press Enter again.CMD commands
  • Click “Next” in the windows that appeared. Restore point img1
  • Select one of the Restore Points that are available before Encrypt ransomware has infiltrated to your system and then click “Next”. Restore point img2
  • To start System restore click “Yes”. Restore point img3

Step 2. Complete removal of GIBON virus

After restoring your system, it is recommended to scan your computer with an anti-malware program, like Spyhunter and remove all malicious files related to Encrypt ransomware. You can check other tools here.  

Step 3. Restore GIBON virus affected files using Shadow Volume Copies

If you do not use System Restore option on your operating system, there is a chance to use shadow copy snapshots. They store copies of your files that point of time when the system restore snapshot was created. Usually Encrypt ransomware tries to delete all possible Shadow Volume Copies, so this methods may not work on all computers. However, it may fail to do so. Shadow Volume Copies are only available with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. There are two ways to retrieve your files via Shadow Volume Copy. You can do it using native Windows Previous Versions or via Shadow Explorer. a) Native Windows Previous Versions Right-click on an encrypted file and select PropertiesPrevious versions tab. Now you will see all available copies of that particular file and the time when it was stored in a Shadow Volume Copy. Choose the version of the file you want to retrieve and click Copy if you want to save it to some directory of your own, or Restore if you want to replace existing, encrypted file. If you want to see the content of file first, just click Open.
Previous version
b) Shadow Explorer It is a program that can be found online for free. You can download either a full or a portable version of Shadow Explorer. Open the program. On the left top corner select the drive where the file you are looking for is a stored. You will see all folders on that drive. To retrieve a whole folder, right-click on it and select “Export”. Then choose where you want it to be stored.
Shadow explorer

Step 4. Use Data Recovery programs to recover GIBON virus encrypted files

There are several data recovery programs that might recover encrypted files as well. This does not work in all cases but you can try this:
  • We suggest using another PC and connect the infected hard drive as slave. It is still possible to do this on infected PC though.
  • Download a data recovery program.
  • Install and scan for recently deleted files. Data Recovery Pro
Note: In many cases it is impossible to restore data files affected by modern ransomware. Thus I recommend using decent cloud backup software as precaution. We recommend checking out Carbonite, BackBlaze, CrashPlan or Mozy Home.

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