Here’s a New Year’s resolution you can stick to, and if you do it will make a big difference to your life.

Don’t open unsolicited email attachments without checking them first!

Ransomware is on the increase and shows no signs of abating. And as Trend Micro detail here, the criminals involved are getting more creative in their money making approaches:

At the tail end of 2016, ransomware operators were still hard at work. Distributors probed targets with new spam campaigns, while others experimented with unorthodox business strategies that involved selling ransomware products with “features” and add-ons that were marketed and sold separately. Operators also played around with alternative payment options that involved their victims in distribution. And, we saw malware authors fine-tuning their tools while again misusing ‘educational’ open-source ransomware.

One of the more interesting developments from these two weeks was a unique payment scheme pioneered by the creators of the new malware Popcorn Time (detected by Trend Micro as RANSOM_POPCORNTYM.A), which has no relation to the multi-platform media service of the same name. Aside from accepting payments in Bitcoin, the creators also provided an alternative payment option: pass on a malicious URL provided by the operators and try to infect others with the ransomware. If two of the ‘referred’ victims pay up, a decryptor tool is given for free.

More from this story – http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/news/cybercrime-and-digital-threats/ransomware-recap-dec-5-to-dec-16-2016