Hackers have started using phishing techniques to lock your critical information in your system with some large encryption code and then demand ransom to unlock those for you. This has just started spreading and a new term has been coined to refer these kind of soft-extorsions as "Ransom-ware" .
More details at CTV.ca News
Update: This post is done from my home using BSNL DataOne broadband connection. How nice to get hooked to net from home!