Several years ago, Sony Pictures fell victim to a wide-scale hacking group called “Guardians of Peace”. The hackers exposed thousands of confidential emails which contained sensitive information about Sony employees.
Not only did copies of then-unreleased Sony movies show up on piracy sites, like the big-budget Annie remake that starred Jamie Foxx, but the group also demanded the movie The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco be pulled from theaters.
This led many to believe North Korea was behind the cyber-attack since The Interview is about plotting the assassination of their “Supreme Leader.” But now there’s a new cyber-terrorist group, and it has threatened Netflix for the 10-episode season of one of their popular series.
“A group of hackers, known as The Dark Overlord (TDO), have leaked all ten episodes of the upcoming season of the Netflix hit series Orange Is the New Black after the streaming giant refused to meet the group’s ransom demands.
The hackers had demanded an undisclosed ransom from Netflix, Variety reports, in exchange for a promise not to upload the popular prison drama on the file-sharing site, The Pirate Bay, ahead of its world premiere on June 9.
However, Netflix refused to meet TDO’s ransom.
‘It didn’t have to be this way, Netflix. You’re going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest offer was,’ the hackers wrote in a message posted on Pastebin.
‘We’re quite ashamed to breathe the same air as you. We figured a pragmatic business such as yourselves would see and understand the benefits of cooperating with a reasonable and merciful entity like ourselves.’
Netflix said it is aware of the hack and online leaks and seemed to blame the breach on a ‘production vendor.’
‘We are aware of the situation,’ Netflix said in a statement. A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.’”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is apparently on the case already, but these hackers are threatening other Hollywood networks.
Who is next on the list? FOX, IFC, NAT GEO, and ABC. Oh, what fun we’re all going to have. We’re not playing any games anymore.
— thedarkoverlord (@tdohack3r) April 29, 2017
But given the statement, it seems like Netflix wasn’t exactly “aware” of the situation. Netflix specifically allocates certain jobs to other companies so they can be super-secret about how many views the streaming content they’ve purchased from other studios receives.
They do this so that studios have no idea what the going-rate is and how valuable it actually is to Netflix. They purposefully keep them in the dark.
So, it’s not surprising if one of those companies that keeps their shows on a private secure server isn’t actually Netflix themselves.
“’We’re not quite done yet, though. We’re calling you out: ABC, National Geographic, Fox, IFC, and of course Netflix, still,’ TDO wrote, adding, ‘There’s more Netflix on the feasting menu soon (in addition to the other studios, of course), but we’ll get to that later.’
The group has issued stern warnings to major studios, assuring them they may share Netflix’s fate if they do not pay a ‘modest sum of internet money.’
‘Now, because we punish in a pervasive guilty-by-association manner, other companies in the American entertainment industry shouldn’t be surprised if they were too [sic] wake up to a verbose, condescending, and abusive letter in their inbox extending a hand of friendship and (most likely) demanding a modest sum of internet money,” the hackers wrote.
The group claims to have episodes from other popular films and TV series, including Celebrity Apprentice, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and NCIS Los Angeles.”
Is this all about money though? It seems like there’s something deeper and more malevolent at work here.
Who knows – maybe it is Kim Jong-un and North Korea.