(Bloomberg) -- Cyberattacks involving ransomware -- in which criminals use malicious software to encrypt a users’ data and then extort money to unencrypt it -- increased 50 percent in 2016, according to a report from Verizon Communications Inc.

And criminals increasingly shifted from going after individual consumers to attacking vulnerable organizations and businesses, the report said. Government organizations were the most frequent target of these ransomware attacks, followed by health-care businesses and financial services, according to data from security company McAfee Inc., which partnered with Verizon on the report published Thursday.

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