Cyber security firm Symantec (SYMC) said today that hackers are demanding higher, more lucrative ransoms to remove viruses from computers, Reuters reports.

The move illustrates cyber criminals attempting to maximize profits, especially from larger firms willing to pay the higher payments.

The average demand rooted in such malicious software, known as ransomware, more than tripled last year to $1,077 from $294, and the pricing has continued to rise in 2017, according to Symantec.

"The bad guys haven't found the top end of what people will pay," Symantec Director of Security Response Kevin Haley told Reuters.

Shares of Symantec were lower during mid-morning trading on Wednesday. 

(What will move markets this quarter and how should investors position themselves ahead of time? Jim Cramer sat down with four of TheStreet's top columnists recently to get their views. Click here to listen to his latest Trading Strategies roundtable with them and read their advice for stocks, bonds, forex and gold.)

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