Disney’s latest pirate movie may be held to ransom by pirates.
Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger today confirmed that one of the company’s upcoming films has been pirated by hackers who are demanding a ransom. Iger did not disclose the title of the film, but the next movie on Disney’s release calendar is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, making it the most likely film to have been ransomed. Cars 3, which releases June 16, is another possibility.
Iger said the company is currently working with federal investigators to track down the hackers. According to Hollywood Reporter, the hackers demanded a massive sum to be paid in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin or they would begin releasing the film incrementally, first in five minute chunks, then in 20 minute segments. Iger reiterated that the company has no intention of paying the ransom.
News of the Disney hack comes at a time when cyber security woes are plentiful. At the end of April, a group of hackers calling themselves TheDarkOverlord released 10 episodes from the upcoming fifth season of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black onto the torrent website Pirate Bay. The group claims to have hacked numerous shows across multiple networks, including IFC’s Portlandia and Fox’s New Girl.
Threats and ransom haven’t been limited to just media lately, though. Recently, a ransomware virus called WannaCry has infected more than 200,000 computers across over 150 countries. The virus locks users out of their computers and threatens to do so permanently if the victim doesn’t pay $300 in Bitcoin. The price increases every three days and, of course, payment does not actually guarantee relief from the hack.
Pirates is the latest installment in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The film finds one of the series’ longtime protagonists, Jack Sparrow, pursued by an old, undead nemesis, Armando Salazar. Having escaped from the fabled Devil’s Triangle, Armando is determined to destroy every last pirate on the sea. The only recourse for Sparrow is to hunt down the Trident of Poseidon, an ancient artifact that gives the wielder control of the ocean.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a production of Walt Disney Pictures directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg that stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Javier Bardem as Captain Armando Salazar, Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner, Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth, Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa.