Disney CEO Bob Iger told company employees Monday that hackers claim to have channeled their inner Captain Jack Sparrow, filching one of the company’s films and threatening to release it, multiple trade publications have reported.
While Iger didn’t mention the name of the film, Deadline reported that the title is the painfully fitting Johnny Depp swashbuckling adventure “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” set for release May 26.
The plunderers are reportedly demanding a large ransom to be paid in bitcoin, a digital currency, or else they’ll release the film in increments online. Disney, working with the FBI, refuses to pay up.
The Huffington Post has reached out to the company for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
The Disney hack does not appear to be related to the ransomware attack that crippled computers in 150 countries last week, demanding bitcoin ransom payments of $300 to $600. But it does resemble a recent incident involving Netflix, which led to a big “Orange Is the New Black” leak.
Late last month, hackers nabbed the upcoming season, set for release June 9, from the servers of a postproduction company used by Netflix and threatened to release it early unless an undisclosed ransom was paid. The streaming service refused, and episodes of “Orange” Season 5 are now available on torrenting sites. While that leak didn’t have much of an impact, making a blockbuster like “Pirates” freely available online could have an adverse effect on ticket sales.
Whether the two incidents were caused by the same hackers, however, is unknown.