Several episodes of 'Orange is the New Black' released prematurely by hacker

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A hacker, or group of hackers, operating under the alias of The Dark Overlord uploaded ten episodes of Netflix's web TV series Orange is the New Black on Friday and Saturday on The Pirate Bay after they said the online streaming service failed to meet their demands. Netflix had planned to release the season on June 9.

According to The New York Times, the unreleased content from the upcoming fifth season of Orange is the New Black was likely stolen from a postproduction company Larson Studios, based in Los Angeles. Netflix in a statement said, "A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved." In a tweet on Saturday, the hacker said, "Who is next on the list? FOX, IFC, NAT GEO, and ABC. Oh, what fun we're all going to have. We're not playing any games anymore."

The hacker tweeted about uploading the first episode on The Pirate Bay on Saturday saying, "Let's try to be a bit more direct, Netflix". The hacker allegedly demanded an amount of money which they publicly described as "modest", from Netflix for not releasing the episodes prematurely. The New York Times reported that the final three episodes were not pirated since the security breach occurred before the postproduction studio was handed those episodes. In January, the hacker erased the data from the servers of a Muncie-based charity called Little Red Door Cancer Services of East Central Indiana demanding 50 bitcoins to restore their data, which was estimated to be about US$43,000.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating this cyber crime. Netflix has more than 100 million subscribers, CEO Reed Hastings announced recently. Variety noted that Netfilx's shares experienced a 0.57% loss on the day the first episode was uploaded by the hacker.


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