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Disney latest Hollywood studio hit with ransom demands by hackers

Mickey Mouse during the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures'
Mickey Mouse during the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" held at Disneyland on May 7, 2011 in Anaheim, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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During a town hall meeting in New York yesterday, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said hackers are threatening to release one of the studio’s upcoming films unless they receive a hefty ransom in Bitcoin.

Though Iger didn’t reveal the film title, a source told the Los Angeles Times the hacked movie is the newest sequel in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

The Disney hack comes weeks after 10 episodes of the Netflix original series "Orange is the New Black" were uploaded to The Pirate Bay - six weeks before its new season was scheduled to be released - because Netflix refused to pay.

Iger is taking a similar approach, saying Disney will not pay the hackers - but according to The Hollywood Reporter, the FBI has told hacking victims in the industry they may be better off paying.

How much will this hack affect Disney’s revenue for their upcoming film? And how are Hollywood studios failing to protect their content?


Tatiana Siegel, senior film writer for The Hollywood Reporter, whose recent piece looks at a wave of ransomware hacks in Hollywood; Siegel reported extensively on the Sony hack in 2014 tied to the film, “The Interview;” she tweets @TatianaSiegel27