Walt Disney CEO Bog Iger disclosed Monday that hackers claiming to have access to a Disney movie are demanding a ransom. Iger didn’t disclose the name of the film, but said Disney isn’t paying. The company — which is working with federal investigators — is now waiting to see if the hackers makes good on the threat and release the movie.
Iger’s comments came during a town hall meeting with ABC employees in New York City, according to multiple sources.
Disney’s upcoming theatrical release slate include “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, which opens Memorial day weekend, and “Cars 3” (June 16). Rumors circulated online last week that work print of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” had been pirated and being held for ransom but days later online chatter tipped that rumor as a hoax.
The Disney chief said the hackers demanded that a huge sum be paid on Bitcoin. They are threatening to release five minutes of the film the first time and then in 20-minute chunks until their financial demands are met. A ransom for movie piracy is a new move.
The ransom demand of Disney comes only weeks after a hacker uploaded 10 episodes of the upcoming season of “Orange Is the New Black” to The Pirate Bay after Netflix refused to pay an undisclosed amount. The episodes were posted on Pirate Bay six weeks ahead of the series’ official June 9 launch.
Several Hollywood agencies have also been targeted by hackers with extortion plots in recent months, including UTA, ICM and WME.