Gingerbread ransomware / virus (2016 update) - Easy Removal Guide

Gingerbread virus Removal Guide

What is Gingerbread ransomware virus?

Russian Gingerbread ransomware asks you to help the criminal pay the home rent, encrypts files at the same time

Gingerbread virus distinguishes itself from other ransomware examples because it provides quite a unique ransom note. Instead of threatening the victim to delete or publish personal files or destroy the decryption key if the victim recants paying the ransom, it tells a tale about gingerbread that went away from its grandparents and could not pay the home rent. According to the ransom note, Gingerbread has decided to ask computer users for help but encrypt their files to encourage them to “donate” money. Though hackers tend to use amusing titles for their ransomware projects, it is unwise to underestimate them. Although this virus is not as sophisticated as Locky ransomware, it still can cause a lot of trouble for its victims. Nonetheless, there is no need to panic and rush to comply with crooks’ demands. First, you need to remove Gingerbread completely from the device. Only after removing the virus you can concentrate on data decryption. More explicit information about Gingerbread removal peculiarities and file recovery is provided below the article. Keep in mind that it is very hard to eliminate viruses like this one manually, so we recommend you to use the FortectIntego software.

While Cerber’s successive versions, 4.1.0, 4.1.1, and 4.1.5, and Locky keep terrorizing the virtual community, there are multiple minor cyber threats. themed viruses had occupied the cyber stage for a while a few months ago, but it seems that their developers are back in business. This ransomware was named “gingerbread” after famous Russian cartoon character. This time the swindlers present even an entire story for their victims:

Gingerbread went away from grandma and grandpa and found out that he doesn’t have money even to pay for his home rent! He thought long, wanted to hang himself – but couldn’t. And after all he can rely on something – your help!
Help Gingerbread, and he will give back your files to you! Write down the information for identification on the email below:

E-mail –
Identifier – {ID}
For more information –

Despite such childish story, the essence remains the same – pay the ransom in exchange for the files. However, such act may turn out into to be futile as the crooks are not obliged to return any data. It purely depends on their sense of conscience. It is likely that when you contact the crooks via the given email address, you may only get mocked even more or receive no response at all. As for the operation, the ransomware employs AES and RSA algorithm to encode the data. As Gingerbread malware belongs to the notorious group of viruses, it is likely to append .xtbl extension to all the files. Unfortunately, the data encrypted with this technology still presents a challenge for IT experts. However, do not waste time and remove the virus from the device.

The image displaying Gingerbread ransomware

Methods of dissemination

It is likely that you facilitated Gingerbread hijack when you were carelessly opening spam messages. This ransomware may as well hide in a fake tax report or an exploit kit. Concerning the former, the crooks make up persuasive deception drawing the users into their trap. Therefore, virus researchers and cyber law enforcement institutions warn users not to open any suspicious emails even if they pretend to be the emails sent from the very FBI! The hackers do not know the right measure where to stop and have no morals so you can expect anything from them. In addition, it is essential to improve your security to ward off exploit kits which might be carrying Gingerbread ransomware. They are fraudulent files which deliver the ransomware payload in the disguise of a smaller file. What is more, they may also escape the detection of security applications. Updating the tools daily might be vital. Finally, avoid clicking on intriguing web ads that promise you brilliant business or weightloss plans. Such ads can point you to deceptive websites that contain malicious files, and can trick you into installing or opening a destructive file that starts malicious processes right away.

Delete Gingerbread ransomware virus from the compromised PC

This category of threats keeps causing serious damage and huge financial losses worldwide. What is more, this malware is still quite complicated, so we recommend you to remove Gingerbread virus from the device completely with the help of a proper security tool, for example, FortectIntego or Malwarebytes. These programs will deal with the virus completely without leaving any malicious files. In addition, you may check the guidelines for access recovery if you are having Gingerbread removal problems. Lastly, some of the below-recommended tools may help you retrieve your files until virus researchers publish the decrypter.

do it now!
Fortect Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with macOS
What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Fortect Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Fortect Intego has a free limited scanner. Fortect Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Fortect, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of Gingerbread virus. Follow these steps

Manual removal using Safe Mode

Important! →
Manual removal guide might be too complicated for regular computer users. It requires advanced IT knowledge to be performed correctly (if vital system files are removed or damaged, it might result in full Windows compromise), and it also might take hours to complete. Therefore, we highly advise using the automatic method provided above instead.

Step 1. Access Safe Mode with Networking

Manual malware removal should be best performed in the Safe Mode environment. 

Windows 7 / Vista / XP
  1. Click Start > Shutdown > Restart > OK.
  2. When your computer becomes active, start pressing F8 button (if that does not work, try F2, F12, Del, etc. – it all depends on your motherboard model) multiple times until you see the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking from the list. Windows 7/XP
Windows 10 / Windows 8
  1. Right-click on Start button and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to pick Update & Security.
    Update and security
  3. On the left side of the window, pick Recovery.
  4. Now scroll down to find Advanced Startup section.
  5. Click Restart now.
  6. Select Troubleshoot. Choose an option
  7. Go to Advanced options. Advanced options
  8. Select Startup Settings. Startup settings
  9. Press Restart.
  10. Now press 5 or click 5) Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Enable safe mode

Step 2. Shut down suspicious processes

Windows Task Manager is a useful tool that shows all the processes running in the background. If malware is running a process, you need to shut it down:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details.
    Open task manager
  3. Scroll down to Background processes section, and look for anything suspicious.
  4. Right-click and select Open file location.
    Open file location
  5. Go back to the process, right-click and pick End Task.
    End task
  6. Delete the contents of the malicious folder.

Step 3. Check program Startup

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab.
  3. Right-click on the suspicious program and pick Disable.

Step 4. Delete virus files

Malware-related files can be found in various places within your computer. Here are instructions that could help you find them:

  1. Type in Disk Cleanup in Windows search and press Enter.
    Disk cleanup
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (C: is your main drive by default and is likely to be the one that has malicious files in).
  3. Scroll through the Files to delete list and select the following:

    Temporary Internet Files
    Recycle Bin
    Temporary files

  4. Pick Clean up system files.
    Delete temp files
  5. You can also look for other malicious files hidden in the following folders (type these entries in Windows Search and press Enter):


After you are finished, reboot the PC in normal mode.

Remove Gingerbread using System Restore

  • 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 Gingerbread. 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 FortectIntego and make sure that Gingerbread removal is performed successfully.

Bonus: Recover your data

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

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

The efficiency of Data Recovery Pro

While victims of this ransomware might be waiting for the official decryption software, we recommned using Data Recovery Pro utility for restoring files. 

  • Download Data Recovery Pro;
  • Follow the steps of Data Recovery Setup and install the program on your computer;
  • Launch it and scan your computer for files encrypted by Gingerbread ransomware;
  • Restore them.

What is Windows Previous Versiosn feature?

This function enables you to restore your file according to the previously saved copy. This functionality is only effective when System Restore is effective.

  • 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”.

Should I use ShadowExplorer?

The main advantage of this application is that it can recover the locked data according to the volume shadow copies which were automatically created by the operating system.

  • Download Shadow Explorer (;
  • 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.

Finally, you should always think about the protection of crypto-ransomwares. In order to protect your computer from Gingerbread and other ransomwares, use a reputable anti-spyware, such as FortectIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes

How to prevent from getting ransomware

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. However, if you want true anonymity, we suggest you employ a powerful Private Internet Access VPN – it can encrypt all the traffic that comes and goes out of your computer, preventing tracking completely.


Lost your files? Use data recovery software

While some files located on any computer are replaceable or useless, others can be extremely valuable. Family photos, work documents, school projects – these are types of files that we don't want to lose. Unfortunately, there are many ways how unexpected data loss can occur: power cuts, Blue Screen of Death errors, hardware failures, crypto-malware attack, or even accidental deletion.

To ensure that all the files remain intact, you should prepare regular data backups. You can choose cloud-based or physical copies you could restore from later in case of a disaster. If your backups were lost as well or you never bothered to prepare any, Data Recovery Pro can be your only hope to retrieve your invaluable files.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

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