Hackers claim to have stolen an upcoming film from Walt Disney Studios and are threatening to release it online unless they’re paid a “huge sum” in Bitcoin, Disney chief Bob Iger said Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Speaking at a town hall presentation with ABC employees in New York, Iger didn’t say which film was targeted though Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is coming out Memorial Day Weekend, with Cars 3 not far behind (June 16).
One thing Iger did say: Disney isn’t paying.
Instead, the company is working with the feds, and is apparently willing to see if the hackers make good on their threat before doing anything. Disney did not immediately respond to Mashable‘s request for comment.
According to THR, which cited multiple sources who attended the town hall, Iger said the hackers have threatened to release five minutes of the film as a warning shot, with 20-minute chunks to follow, until the ransom is paid.
And there be reasons to believe these pirates mean business.
Earlier this week, THR posted a deeply sourced report about hacking threats throughout Hollywood, and the largely futile efforts to thwart them. The issue has become so bad that federal investigators are in many cases suggesting that studios just pay up which is apparently cheaper and easier than throwing resources into finding or stopping the hackers.
Late last month, pirates told Netflix to pay up or see 10 episodes of Orange is the New Black hit Pirate Bay weeks before release which then happened after the streaming service refused to comply.
How does this one end? With Dead Men Tell No Tales washing up on Pirate Bay, of all places?
One thing is for sure: there will be sequels to this drama.
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