A hacker that goes by the name, ‘The Dark Overlord,’ has sent a ransom to Netflix claiming that he or she has copies of ten episodes of the hit show ‘Orange is the New Black.’
According to the ransom note (that asked for a ‘modest sum’) the hacker obtained copies of the show and uploaded them to an illegal file-sharing service.
After Netflix did not respond, The Dark Overlord then sent out a Tweet with a link to the illegal file-sharing service. Netflix has not confirmed whether or not the released version of the show are, in fact, episodes from this year. ‘Orange is the New Black’ is set to debut this June on Netflix.
The Netflix Damage
If the leaks are, in fact, stolen versions of this season’s show, they could hurt Netflix’s stock prices drastically. Netflix relies on this particular show to draw millions of viewers, so a small leak of the show to millions of people could render the official debut of the show useless. It is unclear at this time what the ransom was and whether or not Netflix will pay for it.
Netflix has told press that the company was working with a small production vendor that works with various television companies had a small security breach. It seems that this breach is how The Dark Overlord gained access to the new episodes of the popular show. According to Netflix, the breach is currently being investigated.
Reading Between the Lines
It sounds like Netflix and the production company that it works with have this security breach under control, but some damage might already be done. If the episodes that were released are, in fact, from the upcoming season, Netflix could lose a lot of viewers. Netflix does not have the time to re-create alternate version of the show if the hack was successful.
It appears as though the tweet from The Dark Overlord was taken off of Twitter. Whether or not millions of people saw the tweet and watched the episodes or used the illegal download site to view the episodes remains to be unseen. For many months now, the Internet has also been buzzing with rumours of leaked Hollywood films and other TV shows.
What Hackers Want
Typically, modern hackers do not want money. In this case, the small ransom does seem to be of monetary value, but it’s hard to tell. Most hackers are looking for something of a more ethical nature these days, and that might even be the case with the current Netflix hack. However, Netflix is a popular company that many people would like to see succeed.
The Dark Overlord also noted that they have other series and movies that were taken from a ‘small company.’ Whether or not there are any truths to those claims remains to be seen. If the hacker does have a lot of popular shows and movies, the damage could be extensive (and not just to Netflix). Netflix has a choice: pay the ransom or do what the hacker asks, or wait and see if the episodes are really from this season.