It sounds like the plot for some kind of lame movie, but in fact this is just what happened to Helen Barrow, a 40-year-old nurse from Rochdale in the UK. She is believed to be one of the first victims of the con in the UK, where hackers hijack computer files and blackmail owners to get them back.
In this case, the demands on Helen where that she buy drugs from an online pharmacy in order to get her data back, but the demands could be for anything. This practice, known as Ransomware, may be set to explode.
"When I realised what had happened, I just felt sick to the core. I was in shock. It was a horrible feeling and I thought I was going to lose all of my work. I had lots of family photographs and personal letters on the computer and to think that other people could have been looking at them was awful."