Gingerbread Ransomware

What is Gingerbread Ransomware?

Recently we encountered an old file-encrypting malware called Gingerbread Ransomware. The malicious application displays a rather unusual ransom note in which the cyber criminals who created it do not demand anything, but ask users for help. However, despite the friendly note’s tone, you should not forget who you are dealing with. The infections developers can say anything to convince their victims to pay the ransom, so they cannot be trusted that quickly. Therefore, if you came across this threat quite recently yourself, we advise you not to get in touch with these people. Instead, we encourage users to delete the malicious application from the computer. If you take a look at the instructions available below the report, you should be able to remove Gingerbread Ransomware manually. For those who cannot decide what to do yet, we recommend reading the rest of the text.

Where does Gingerbread Ransomware come from?

Provided the malware is still being distributed it could be spread through infected email attachments sent with Spam or through malicious software installers downloaded from unreliable web pages. Of course, the file carrying Gingerbread Ransomware might not raise any suspicion as it may look completely harmless. For example, if it was sent via email, the attachment might be made to look as if it was a text document, picture, photograph, archive, and so on. All you have to do is launch the malicious file, and the system could get infected. To avoid such situations, our specialists recommend scanning suspicious setup files or data sent via email with reliable antimalware software, so you could find out if it is safe to launch it without endangering the system.

How does Gingerbread Ransomware work?

At first, the threat should create a few files in the C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming and C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup folders. One of the added files might be called ie_updater.exe; our researchers at think it should be the infection’s launcher. Among Gingerbread Ransomware’s created data there might be a randomly titled image too. The picture is considered to be a ransom note as it has a message from the cyber criminals behind this malware. It should be displayed only after the threat finishes enciphering user’s data located on the infected computer, for example, archives, documents, images, videos, music files, etc. To encrypt each file, the malicious program might use two separate cryptosystems called XOR and RSA. Thus, afterward, the files cannot be opened unless you have a decryption key.

As it was already mentioned, the ransom note does not say anything about paying the ransom in order to get a unique decryption key and a decryptor. Instead, it tells a short story about a fictional character known as Gingerbread man. According to the cyber criminals, he has no money to pay his rent, so they ask for your help and promise restore encrypted files in return if you write them an email. First of all, we would like to warn you that paying a ransom is always risky as you never know if the infection’s creators will keep up to their promises. Secondly, it might be impossible to contact these people anymore, since the malware is already about three years old. Consequently, we advise users not to waste their time and get rid of Gingerbread Ransomware.

How to remove Gingerbread Ransomware?

Users with more experience could try to eliminate the malicious program manually. If you choose this option, we advise you to check the instructions available below the report as they can tell you which files must be erased and where to find them. In case this option looks too complicated for you to handle, you should not hesitate to acquire a legitimate antimalware tool. You could use its scanning feature to locate all data related to Gingerbread Ransomware automatically. Then all that is left is to click the deletion button, and the tool should erase all malicious data it identified.

Eliminate Gingerbread Ransomware

  1. Press Windows key+E.
  2. Go to this location C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
  3. Mark a file called ie_updater.exe and press Shift+Delete.
  4. Search for this path C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming
  5. See if you can find a second file titled as ie_updater.exe, select it and press Shift+Delete.
  6. Check your Desktop, Downloads, and Temporary Files folders.
  7. Locate the suspicious file that infected the computer, click it and tap Shift+Delete.
  8. Close the Explorer and reboot the system.
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