NEWARK, Ohio (AP) — Some local governments in Ohio have been among the thousands of victims of a cybercrime threat known as "ransomware" that spread rapidly last year.

The Newark Advocate reports (http://ohne.ws/2kWWNDH ) that ransomware is often launched from outside the country and comes in the form of a computer virus that freezes a computer system until a ransom is paid.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently released a report stating that more than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred daily since Jan. 1, 2016. Computer security firm Symantec found that the average ransom demand is $679.

The newspaper reports that Licking, Marion and Columbiana counties have all experienced ransomware attacks in recent years.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://www.newarkadvocate.com