Hackers Demand Bitcoin Ransom for Stolen Disney Movie

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Hackers Demand Bitcoin Ransom for Stolen Disney Movie

By Daniel Liberto | May 16, 2017 — 6:35 AM EDT

Hackers claim to have access to a new Walt Disney movie (DIS) and are threatening to release it, should the film studio refuse to pay them a huge bitcoin ransom, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Speaking at a town hall meeting with ABC employees in New York, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the company is working with federal investigators to deal with the threat. Iger didn’t disclose the name of the film, nor the amount the hackers are seeking, but did state that the responsible party plans to release the first five minutes of the movie, followed by 20 minute segments, if Disney refuses to meet their demands. Iger added that Disney has no intention to pay the ransom. (See also: Disney (DIS) Tops Q2 Earnings, Sales Lag, ESPN Woes Linger.)

The studio aims to release two big films this summer: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Cars 3. Deadline.com reports that the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean film is the one being held at ransom.

News that a major movie picture has been stolen came just one week after rumors circulated online that Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi was in the hands of ransom-seeking hackers. The rumors were later confirmed to be false. (See also: Disney Shareholder Meeting Gets Political.)

Cyber Criminals Target Hollywood

Hollywood has become a prime target for cyber-criminals. Last month, hackers stole the entire fifth season of Orange is the New Black and then uploaded the 10 episodes on Pirate Bay six weeks ahead of the official June 9 launch date after Netflix (NFLX) refused to pay a ransom.

Moreover, back in 2014, hackers, dubbed the “Guardians of Peace”, demanded that Sony Pictures (SNE) cancel its distribution of The Interview, a comedy movie based on a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. The studio responded by cancelling the film’s formal premiere and mainstream release after the the cyber-criminals threatened to launch terrorist attacks on U.S. cinemas showing the movie.

Several Hollywood agencies, including UTA, ICM and WME, have also reportedly been targeted by hackers.
Published at Tue, 16 May 2017 10:35:00 +0000

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