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.Gif file extension virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Gabriel E. Hall - - | Type: Ransomware

.Gif file extension virus – a new threat that locks users files

.Gif file extension virus

.Gif file extension virus is new ransomware attack related to the infamous GlobeImposter virus. As soon as malware distributes its payload, it encrypts[1] all files by appending .gif extension, drops a ransom note (READ_ME.txt)and urges victims' paying 0.026 Bitcoin for file decryption.

SUMMARY
Name .Gif file extension virus
Type Ransomware
Family GlobeImposter
Function Encrypt files and demand ransom for their release
Ransom size 0.025 BTC; 0.052 BTW in 48 hours
File appendix .gif
Distribution Phishing emails, malicious files or websites
Removal  Install Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware. Start it in Safe Mode with Networking

The .Gif virus is mostly spread via spam emails which promote new job opportunities or other popular themes. Typically, the attachment contains a malicious payload which, once executed, infects the system. Soon after, it gets admin rights to modify registry entries. This way, the virus restarts each the time Windows is booted. To prevent that, you need to remove .Gif file extension virus from your machine.

.Gif ransomware targets different file formats, such as .mpeg, .mp3, .doc, .xls, .exe, .jpg and similar. Soon after .gif is affixed, none of the files can be opened, as they become corrupted. To encrypt files, the victim needs a decryption key which is stored on a remote server by hackers. Thus, decrypting files without it becomes almost impossible.

The .txt file and customized program window are there to explain to victims what happened. The instruction state that users should pay 0.026 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency (which is approx. $235 at the time of the writing) and do it within 48 hours – timer is displayed as well. After that time passes, the ransom is increased to 0.052 Bitcoin.

Additionally, cybercriminals offer free decryption of a single file. They want to convince victims that data can be released after the payment is made. Some people are so desperate to save their files that they agree to hackers’ demands.

However, we advise you not to contact cybercriminals. Do not forget that, if these hackers are trying to extort money in such a nasty way, they can also not give you back your files, even after the ransom payment. Additionally, not only you risk to lose your money in return for nothing, but you would also be funding illegal .Gif file virus creators’ activities, making it easier to produce more ransomware.

The only guaranteed way to recover your files is by restoring them from a back-up. Also, keep in mind that Globe Imposter decryptor has been available for awhile, so you might try it and see if it works for you. Additionally, we will present you alternative methods that might help you with file recovery.

Nevertheless, you should not delay .Gif ransomware removal. Manual elimination is almost impossible, as ransomware is a complicated type of a virus. Thus, download and install robust anti-malware software (Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware) and perform full computer scan.

Be careful while opening emails from unknown sources

Research shows[2] that users are typically tricked to open malicious file attachments because they seem like they are legitimate. Therefore, it is vital to not rush through your emails and not casually clicking on anything you receive.

Crooks use clever social engineering to convince victims that the file attachment is legitimate (they can also provide a link). Typically, they urge users to open the file by applying psychological pressure. For example, the email author might pretend to be from a high profile organization and announce that the attachment is some personal report, a bank statement, debt, etc.

All you have to do is not rush and check for suspicious signs,[3] such as the email address it was sent from, grammar errors and similar. Don’t forget that faking logos and themes from famous companies is not that hard.

Nevertheless, you can also get infected by malware while browsing websites of illegal software, porn, online gambling and similar. So avoid sites of questionable content at all costs. Also, do not click on ads and content of realms you get rerouted to.

Eliminate .Gif file extension virus securely

As we already mentioned, manual .Gif file extension virus removal should not be attempted as the virus is deeply embedded within the system files and it would be almost impossible for a regular user to achieve. Instead, download and install a reputable anti-virus program, such as Reimage, and perform a full system scan.

Do not forget that the virus can prevent security software from startup. Therefore, reboot your PC in a Safe Mode with Networking and start anti-virus from there. Remember, you must thoroughly remove .Gif ransomware BEFORE proceeding to file recovery procedure.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall .Gif file extension virus. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
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To remove .Gif virus, follow these steps:

Remove .Gif using Safe Mode with Networking

If startup of security software is prevented, you need to reboot your PC in Safe Mode with Networking:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Networking

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Networking'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Networking in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Networking'
  • Step 2: Remove .Gif

    Log in to your infected account and start the browser. Download Reimage or other legitimate anti-spyware program. Update it before a full system scan and remove malicious files that belong to your ransomware and complete .Gif removal.

If your ransomware is blocking Safe Mode with Networking, try further method.

Remove .Gif using System Restore

System restore might also help you to eliminate the virus promptly:

  • Step 1: Reboot your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Windows 7 / Vista / XP
    1. Click Start Shutdown Restart OK.
    2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
    3. Select Command Prompt from the list Select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'

    Windows 10 / Windows 8
    1. Press the Power button at the Windows login screen. Now press and hold Shift, which is on your keyboard, and click Restart..
    2. Now select Troubleshoot Advanced options Startup Settings and finally press Restart.
    3. Once your computer becomes active, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt in Startup Settings window. Select 'Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt'
  • Step 2: Restore your system files and settings
    1. Once the Command Prompt window shows up, enter cd restore and click Enter. Enter 'cd restore' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    2. Now type rstrui.exe and press Enter again.. Enter 'rstrui.exe' without quotes and press 'Enter'
    3. When a new window shows up, click Next and select your restore point that is prior the infiltration of .Gif. After doing that, click Next. When 'System Restore' window shows up, select 'Next' Select your restore point and click 'Next'
    4. Now click Yes to start system restore. Click 'Yes' and start system restore
    Once you restore your system to a previous date, download and scan your computer with Reimage and make sure that .Gif removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

Guide which is presented above is supposed to help you remove .Gif from your computer. To recover your encrypted files, we recommend using a detailed guide prepared by 2-spyware.com security experts.

Cybercriminals do everything to extort money out of innocent users. This activity is criminal and should not be tolerated. Therefore, do not pay ransom and ignore hackers. Instead, try these file recovery methods:

If your files are encrypted by .Gif, you can use several methods to restore them:

Try Data Recover Pro

Data Recover Pro is created to help users restore damaged or corrupted files. Nevertheless, it might help with ransomware-affected files as well.

Windows Previous Versions feature is an option too

Windows Previous Versions feature can only be performed if you had System Restore function enabled when .Gif file extension virus attacked your PC.

  • Find an encrypted file you need to restore and right-click on it;
  • Select “Properties” and go to “Previous versions” tab;
  • Here, check each of available copies of the file in “Folder versions”. You should select the version you want to recover and click “Restore”.

ShadowExplorer might help you with file decryption

If you are lucky enough and shadow volume copies were not damaged by the virus, this method will most likely be successful.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (http://shadowexplorer.com/);
  • Follow a Shadow Explorer Setup Wizard and install this application on your computer;
  • Launch the program and go through the drop down menu on the top left corner to select the disk of your encrypted data. Check what folders are there;
  • Right-click on the folder you want to restore and select “Export”. You can also select where you want it to be stored.

Restore your files using GlobeImposter decryptor

You can download decryptor for the original virus here. Keep in ming that this version of the virus might be evolved from its predecessors. Nevertheless, it is worth trying!

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from .Gif and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware

About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate web researcher

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References