Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that hackers claiming to have stolen a copy of one of the company's upcoming movies have threatened to release it unless the studio pays a hefty ransom.
According to sources, the movie held hostage by digital pirates is none other than Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth entry in the franchise.
Hackers Threaten To Release 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales'
The hackers who claim that they were able to steal a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales are demanding a huge amount of money in Bitcoin.
If Disney does not pay the ransom, the hackers will release the movie online. The first five minutes of the film will be first released, and then it will be released in chunks of 20 minutes each until Disney gives in to their demands.
Disney will take a huge hit in its expected worldwide earnings from the movie if the hackers do release the film, as viewers may watch it for free instead of having to pay in theaters. However, it would seem that Disney is willing to take that risk rather than enriching criminals, as the company said that it will not be paying the ransom and is now working with the FBI on the case.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, starring Johnny Depp as he reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, is slated to be released on May 26. The first four movies in the franchise generated considerable revenue for Disney, earning $3.72 billion worldwide since the first film was launched in 2003.
Hackers Attack TV, Movie Studios
The incident involving a stolen copy of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales mimics what happened with Netflix's prison drama-comedy Orange is the New Black.
A group of hackers, who call themselves The Dark Overlord, stole the fifth season of Orange is the New Black from one of Netflix's production vendors. The group threatened to release all the episodes unless Netflix paid a ransom. The streaming service refused to do so, prompting the hackers to upload the season's first 10 episodes.
The group also warned that they were able to acquire other TV shows and movies, and so they may be targeting even more studios in the near future. While the plan of attack was similar, it appears that The Dark Overlord is not the group behind the stolen copy of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Is This Related To The WannaCry Ransomware Attack?
News on the stolen copy of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales comes as the world is under siege from the WannaCry ransomware attack, which has affected hundreds of thousands computers across more than 150 countries.
It is unclear if the attack against Disney and WannaCry are connected, though there appears to be no connection between the incidents. What is clear, however, is that hackers are now looking to make massive profits off of their activities, which is an alarming trend both for regular users and companies.