LOS ANGELES — Disney CEO Bob Iger had a bit of a bombshell revelation for his staff during a company town hall Monday: Hackers claim to have stolen a copy of an unreleased Disney movie, and are now threatening to release it.
Iger made no mention of the title in question, but said that hackers are asking for a large bitcoin payment to keep the film under wraps. They have threatened to release the entire title in five minute snippets, and may follow up on that threat — because Iger vowed Monday that Disney wasn’t going to pay.
The entire episode is eerily similar to the recent high-profile leak of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.” In that case, hackers had breached the security of a Hollywood-based postproduction company that counts Netflix as well as a number of other studios as its customers.
The hackers in question first tried to strong-arm the postproduction company, but eventually targeted Netflix itself with ransom demands. Netflix apparently didn’t budge either, and ten episodes of the still-unreleased 5th season of “Orange Is the New Black” were released on the Pirate Bay last month.
It’s unclear at this point whether the two incidents are connected. The hackers that leaked “Orange Is the New Black” claimed to have also gotten their hands on at least three dozen additional TV shows and movies, and have since released another Netflix original movie.
Disney’s next two movies are “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” on May 26, and “Cars 3” on June 16.