Disney Says Film Hack Threat Was A Hoax

Media production companies are switching to digital production & distribution technologies, making them vulnerable to hackers and extortion. 

Disney's boss Bob Iger has revealed that hackers had threatened to leak one of the studio's new films unless it paid a ransom. He didn't name the film, but it was thought to be Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

But now Iger has told Yahoo Finance: "To our knowledge we were not hacked." 

"We decided to take the threat seriously but not react in the manner in which the person who was threatening us had required."

But, he added: "We don't believe that it was real and nothing has happened."

Iger had told employees earlier this month that the hackers had demanded the ransom in bitcoin and that they would release the film online in a series of 20-minute chunks unless it was paid. The Disney boss was keen to stress how technology has benefitted Disney but also said it also presented significant challenges to the film industry.

"In today's world, cyber security is a front burner issue," he said. "We like to view technology more friend than foe... [but] it is also a disruptor."

It is not the first film studio to be threatened with online leaks.

Last month, a group of hackers uploaded the fifth season of Orange is the New Black after Netflix refused to pay a ransom.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth instalment of the Pirates franchise and will see Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow return to the ocean alongside Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom.

It was released in cinemas in the US on 26 May.

Mark James, security specialist at IT security company ESET, said: "Anything that has a value will always be a potential victim of theft, either digital or physical. If someone has it and someone wants it then in theory there's a market for it."

BBC:   BBC

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