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Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tells’ apparently being held hostage by hackers


How much money is Disney willing to pay to keep their next blockbuster movies protected, and not released before it’s initial date? We’ll according to news reports, Disney is not willing to give in to these cyber terrorists demands.

Earlier this week a group of hackers noticed Disney about having access to one of their upcoming films that is scheduled to be released over the next few months. Although the hackers never officially said which film they were able to acquire, a huge amount of speculation has been circulating that it is the next instalment of the Pirate’s of the Caribbean series, starring none other than Johnny Depp, as Captain Jack Sparrow.

The official announcement made to the public about the threat was made by Disney CEO, Bob Iger. Iger met with executives on Monday at an ABC meeting, a partner company, that Disney owns, and made the board room aware that hackers have issued a ransom for one of their films, and that the hackers get paid in bitcoins. Iger then went on to say how the hackers expressed that if they do not get the money that they asked for, they will release the first five minutes of the film, and then will show twenty minutes of the film to the public, up until they are paid the amount they have requested. Iger told the town meeting that they will not be paying the ransom, and that Disney is currently working with federal investigators to catch these criminals.

A former computer hacker, Hector Monsieur, who now works as Director of Security Assessments for Rhino Security Labs and a regular expert on the Science Channel series Outlaw Tech had this to say about the matter; “It’s nearly impossible because you have various hackers from pretty much anywhere. Also, they are aware of techniques to track them down. So you could have an Egyptian hacker who uses Russian software so it looks like it’s Russian but is actually from Egypt.” A statement that shows that literally anyone in the world could have access to their file, and it will be that hard for the company and investigators to pinpoint who is attacking their company.

Monsieur then went on to say, “All these companies like Disney, Netflix and Discovery may have very good security teams, but you have all these vendors and small production companies which don’t have great security and probably don’t have the budget to focus on their own security so hackers get in pretty easily. Remember back in the day when movies would leak online and they would go to a pirate bay? Now there has been a shift with the advent of ransomware so (these companies) are getting demands to pay for their own IP. Any studio is going to have a problem moving forward protecting their IPs.”

We live in an era where copyright laws are trying to be strictly enforced but sadly are easily ignored. It is an expectation at this point for companies like Disney to have their material taken from them once the material is available to the public on streaming devices, DVD, and Blu Ray, but now these major companies will have to worry about people having access to their material before it is even out there. The modern day tech savvy individual may not find it necessary to pay film studios a single dollar to view their product, and that can seriously lead to a decline in sales as more and more people find out how to access these files from the comfort of their own home.

This is the second biggest case of holding a movie or television show ransom as of recently. The second most recent case was briefly mentioned above when Monsieur mentioned how Netflix experienced something similar when hackers threatened to release the newest season of Orange is the New Black before it’s drop date.

Some may say it is ironic that a group of Internet “pirates” are trying to steal the film, an act that many of the characters in these films might even do themselves if they lived in today’s world, but it looks like Disney is not scarred , and knows what they are dealing with to some degree.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ is scheduled for a release date of May 26, and the public will have toes if these hackers live up to their word, and whether or not Disney succeeds to the demands of these cyber predators.


Joseph Schlegel

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