Hacker claims re­lease of stolen copies of se­ries

Cape Breton Post - - Arts / Entertainment -

A hacker claims to have fol­lowed through on a threat to re­lease sev­eral episodes from the up­com­ing sea­son of Net­flix’s hit se­ries “Or­ange Is The New Black.”

The hacker, who goes by the name The Dark Over­lord, an­nounced the move on Twit­ter early Satur­day. The post in­cluded a link to an il­le­gal file-shar­ing ser­vice where pur­port­edly 10 episodes from the se­ries’ up­com­ing fifth sea­son were avail­able for download. The As­so­ci­ated Press could not legally con­firm the au­then­tic­ity of the up­loaded files.

New episodes of “Or­ange” are sched­uled for of­fi­cial re­lease on June 9. Pi­rated copies of the se­ries’ episodes could dent Net­flix’s sub­scriber growth and the com­pany’s stock price. A spokes­woman for the video stream­ing ser­vice de­clined to comment on the re­lease of the episodes Satur­day.

Ear­lier, Net­flix said that a small pro­duc­tion ven­dor that works with sev­eral ma­jor TV stu­dios suf­fered a breach. The Los Gatos, Cal­i­for­nia, com­pany de­scribed it as an “ac­tive sit­u­a­tion” that’s be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the FBI and other au­thor­i­ties.

The Dark Over­lord had been de­mand­ing that Net­flix pay an un­spec­i­fied ran­som in ex­change for not re­leas­ing the episodes pre­ma­turely on­line. In a state­ment on­line Satur­day, the hacker noted that Net­flix had re­mained “un­re­spon­sive” to the ran­som re­quest.

“It didn’t have to be this way, Net­flix,” the hacker wrote. “You’re go­ing to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our mod­est of­fer was.”

The hacker claims to have stolen other se­ries from Net­flix and other stu­dios, in­clud­ing ABC, Na­tional Geo­graphic and Fox. The Dark Over­lord promised to also re­lease ti­tles from those other net­works un­less “mod­est” ran­soms are paid.

Ru­mours of a mas­sive leak of Hol­ly­wood films and TV episodes have been cir­cu­lat­ing on­line for months, fed by pur­ported screen­shots of the footage and a copy of a pro­posed deal to delete the stolen ma­te­rial in re­turn for tens of thou­sands of dol­lars in elec­tronic cur­rency.

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