When it comes to tech security threats, 2016 has been the year of ransomware, with numerous high-profile organisations forced to pay ransoms in order to regain access to crucial files and systems after becoming victims of data-encrypting malware. The surge in ransomware even saw the US and Canada issue a rare joint cyber alert in an effort to warn against its dangers.
But ransomware is far from a new phenomenon — the first instance, dubbed PC Cyborg, was written in 1989 — so why is it now suddenly booming? There’s a combination of factors; one of them is simply that people are becoming more reliant on computers to store files and victims don’t want to lose that data, so are often willing to pay a ransom to get it back. 
 By Danny Palmer for ZDNet