Netherlands 2nd in Europe for ransomware infections

The Netherlands is the European country with the second most ransomware infections last year, according to security company Symantec's annual Internet Security Threat report. Globally the Netherlands is in 6th place, Tweakers reports.

Italy has the most ransomware infections in Europe, with 7 percent of all infections. The Netherlands comes in second place with 3.4 percent. Globally the United States has the most ransomware infections with 34 percent. Japan follows in second place with 9 percent. Ransomware is a form of malware that locks files on an infected computer. The owner then has to pay a "ransom" to get the password that will give access to his files.

The number of ransomware-families increased from 30 in 2015 to 101 last year. The average ransom charged by ransomware criminals also increased sharply - from 4294 in 2015 to $1,077 last year. About 34 percent of ransomware victims pay the ransom. American victims are far above the average at 64 percent, which also explains the high number of infections in the U.S., according to Symantec. 

The Netherlands is also in the top 10 when it comes to online identity theft. The Netherlands is at ninth place with 6.6 million cases of online identity theft. This mostly involved login details for email accounts, but there were also cases of complete personal details stolen. Here too the United States is in first place. France came in second.