Have real-life pirates taken aim at Disney’s pirates?
Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed Monday that hackers claiming to have access to a Disney movie threatened to release it unless the studio paid a ransom. Iger didn’t disclose the name of the film, but said Disney is refusing to pay. The studio is working with federal investigators.
The hackers demanded Disney pay a huge sum of money, provided in Bitcoin. The hackers threatened to release parts of the film online in increments—first five minutes at a time, then 20-minutes chunks—until the full film is published or their monetary demands are met.
Deadline reported the stolen film is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth installment in the franchise fronted by Johnny Depp. The film is slated to open May 26. The other prominent film set for release from Disney in the near future include Cars 3, which is due to hit theaters June 16.
Rumors circulated online last week that a work print of Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been pirated and was being held for ransom, but days later online chatter tipped that rumor as a hoax. The studio had no comment.
While movie piracy has long been a scourge, ransoms appear to be a new twist.
The ransom demand of Disney comes only weeks after a hacker uploaded 10 episodes of the upcoming season of Orange Is the New Black to The Pirate Bay after Netflix refused to pay an undisclosed amount. The episodes were posted on Pirate Bay six weeks ahead of the series’ official June 9 launch.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter