Hacker holds Net­flix to ran­som over show

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - WORLD - As­so­ci­ated Press

A hacker claims to have stolen the up­com­ing sea­son of Net­flix’s hit se­ries Or­ange Is The New Black, and is de­mand­ing that the video stream­ing ser­vice pay an un­spec­i­fied ran­som to pre­vent all the new episodes from be­ing pre­ma­turely re­leased on­line.

The hacker, op­er­at­ing un­der the name The Dark Over­lord, has al­ready pur­port­edly up­loaded the first episode to an il­le­gal file-shar­ing ser­vice. The As­so­ci­ated Press could not le­gally con­firm the au­then­tic­ity of that up­loaded file.

New episodes of Or­ange are sched­uled for of­fi­cial re­lease on June 9.

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

Pi­rated copies of Or­ange could dent Net­flix’s sub­scriber growth as well as the com­pany’s

In the ran­som note, The Dark Over­lord claimed to have stolen se­ries from other stu­dios, too by break­ing into a sin­gle com pany. The pur­ported hacker promised to also re­lease those ti­tles un­less “mod­est” ran­soms are paid.

Ru­mours of a mas­sive leak of Hol­ly­wood films and TV epi sodes have been cir­cu­lat­ing on­line for months, fed by pur ported screen­shots of the foot age and a copy of a pro­posed dea to delete the stolen ma­te­rial in re­turn for tens of thou­sands of dol­lars in elec­tronic currency

When the AP con­tacted The Dark Over­lord in Fe­bru­ary, the hacker said the pur­loined video wouldn’t be made pub­licly avail­able after all, mak­ing the far-fetched claim that “no one re­ally (cares) about un­re­leased movies and TV show episodes.”

It’s not clear what trig­gered The Dark Over­load’s re­newed ran­som de­mands.

Net­flix is count­ing on Or­ange to help it add 3.2 mil­lion sub scribers from April through June. That’s sub­stan­tially higher than the com­pany’s av­er­age gain of 1.8 mil­lion sub scribers in the same pe­riod over

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