An anonymous hacker – or collective of hackers – claims to have released pirated episodes of Netflix’s popular series Orange Is The New Black after the company did not pay a “modest” sum to avert the leak.
The hacker, or hackers, self-titled “TheDarkOverlord,” announced via Twitter that episodes 2 to 10 of the series’ fifth season – set for official release on June 9 – had been leaked on Saturday. The announcement included links to a file-sharing link where the episodes purportedly could be downloaded.
TheDarkOverlord also threatened to leak other pirated content from Netflix, the on-demand streaming leader for movies and TV series, along with similar content from ABC, National Geographic, Fox, and IFC.
According to Variety, cybersecurity blog DataBreaches.net was sent a list of shows TheDarkOverlord claims to have hacked. The shows, mostly from Hollywood-based audio post-production company Larson Studios, include NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, IFC’s Portlandia, FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
* Hacker threatens to release stolen copies of Netflix series
* Hacker releases stolen copies of Netflix series Orange is the New Black
Movies also on the list include Netflix original Win It All and Lifetime TV movie A Midsummers Nightmare.
“You’re going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest offer was,” the hacker wrote, referring to Netflix and Orange Is The New Black, a streaming series focused a woman serving a criminal sentence in a minimum-security federal prison.
In an apparent warning to the other companies, the hacker added: “There’s still time to save yourselves. Our offer(s) are still on the table – for now.”
USA TODAY was not able to confirm the hacker’s claims. ABC declined to comment on Sunday, and the other companies did not immediately respond to emails seeking their position. The FBI similarly did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.
However, Netflix earlier said that a production vendor that works with major TV studios had suffered a breach. Netflix characterised the incident as an “active situation” that was being investigated by the FBI and other authorities, the Associated Press reported.
Some fans of the show appeared to indicate they had successfully downloaded the material in Twitter posts responding to the hacker’s claim.
“Season 5 is amazing and I can’t believe it works,” tweeted Cody Thomas, who added: “You Are Our Saviour. Enjoying the show!”
Others tweeted requests for the hacker to pirate and leak additional popular content.
If the leak proves to be genuine and continuing, the pirating could impose a negative drag on Netflix’s earnings and subscriber growth.
Earlier in April, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it added 4.95 million new subscribers in from January through March, slightly below Netflix’s projection of 5.2 million new subscribers. The number fell well short of the 6.74 million additions for the same period last year.
Overall, Netflix added 1.42 million new US and 3.53 million international subscribers, boosting its total subscriber base to 98.75 million.
– MCT with STUFF