Netflix has revolutionized the way most of us watch TV. By creating amazing series that have turned into part of pop culture. But now the first episode of “Orange Is The New Black,” one of Netflix’s most popular series, has been leaked. The hacker is also demanding ransom in order to avoid leaking even more episodes.
Netflix hasn’t only changed the way that we engage with and enjoy it. Since for a monthly fee, it provides us new viewing experience. It allows the users to watch whatever they want, whenever they want, at their own rhythm. So this leak can affect not only their reputation but also their subscribers whose experience might be ruined.
The popular series of Netflix was set to premiere their new season, 5, on June 9th of this year. Something that now we don’t know if it will happen due to the “cybernetic kidnapping” of the show’s footage. Orange Is The New Black has been one of Netflix’s most popular shows. Last year the show renewed for three new seasons (5, 6 and 7), turning into the company’s most-watched original series. Creator and showrunner Jenji Kohan signed on for all the upcoming seasons of the show, produced by Lionsgate TV and based on the 2010 memoir by Piper Kerman.
The prolific hacker group, who has taken the new season of the show, is called “The Dark Overlord”(TDO). As it claims to have the first 10 episodes, out of 13, of the next season of “Orange Is the New Black”. “The Dark Overlord” explained in an online post that they obtained only the first 10 of the 13 episodes of season 5. The cyber attack was completed before the final three episodes were available. After Netflix failed to meet his demands for ransom, a yet unknown “modest” amount of money, they decided to leak the episodes of the show.
“After we had a copy of their data safely in our possession, we asked that we be paid a small fee in exchange for non-disclosure. We approached them on the Eve of their Christmas,” a member of the group said. As the group attack Larson Studios and presented a payment, in bitcoins, deadline, on December 31st, which the company fails to achieve. The guys from TDO mean serious business, literally, as they presented a legit contract to Larson Studios. “This agreement of accord, assurances, and satisfaction is between Larson Studios (the ‘Client’) and thedarkoverlord, a subsidiary of TheDarkOverlord Solutions, a subsidiary of World Wide Web, LLC [WWW, LLC] (the ‘Proposer’),” the contract stated.
The contract, which was signed by The Studio, even had sections
The contract even had sections. In section 2,”Description of Services,” “The Dark Over Lord” offered to “refrain from communicating in any method, design, or otherwise to any individual, corporation, computer, or other entity any knowledge, information, or otherwise,” if their demands were met. There were also a lot of other conditions. The section 3 said that the “services” come at the price of 50 bitcoins plus potential late payment fees. The hacker group said that Larson Studios agreed to make the payment and even sent back the contract. “They printed, signed, and scanned the contract back to us,” the group says.
The key of the troubles seemed to be that “A late fee was levied and they still didn’t hold up their end of the agreement,” TDO says. Probably generating the leak of the episode of “Orange Is The New Black”. Until now the only one known to be leaked is the first one, on the torrent site Pirate Bay. The move, if true, represents an audacious and highly illegal new frontier in digital piracy. This already costs the entertainment industry billions of dollars in lost profits.
What will happen next?
Netflix stated they’re aware of the situation. They also added that their “production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised.The appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.” Along with it Keith Kupfershmid, chief executive of the Copyright Alliance, has said: “The groups that are taking these pre-released movies and TV shows and posting them online are also engaged in a lot of other illegal activity. The fact that they would take the next step, and hold it for ransom and try to make some money off of it is not terribly surprising because that’s what they’re trying to do”.
The hacking group says that sometime during the last months of 2016, they gained access to the systems of Larson Studios. Also, according to “The Dark Overlord” the group has also obtained unreleased shows from ABC, Fox, National Geographic, and IFC. The content appears to have been stolen in the same attack. What makes their statement on Twitter even scarier.
“It didn’t have to be this way, Netflix. You’re going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest offer was,” the hacker wrote. “We’re quite ashamed to breathe the same air as you. We figured a pragmatic business such as yourselves would see and understand the benefits of cooperating with a reasonable and merciful entity like ourselves. And to the others: there’s still time to save yourselves. Our offer(s) are still on the table — for now.”
It’s not clear what impact the leaks will have for both Netflix and the show. But this will leave many fans with the doubt if they should illegally watch the show or not. Since there are three episodes that the hackers couldn’t get. So if you watch them you will still have to wait for June 9 to see what happens.