Hacker threatens to release stolen copies of Netflix series

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Taylor Schilling, center, portrays Piper Kerman, whose memoirs are the basis for the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

Friday, April 28, 2017|7:10 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO– A hacker declares to have actually taken the upcoming season of Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is The New Black,” and is demanding that the video streaming service pay an undefined ransom to prevent all the brand-new episodes from being prematurely released online.

The hacker, operating under the name The Dark Overlord, has currently supposedly uploaded the very first episode to a prohibited file-sharing service. The Associated Press might not lawfully confirm the authenticity of that submitted file.

New episodes of “Orange” are scheduled for main release on June 9.

Netflix stated that a little production vendor that deals with a number of major TV studios had actually suffered a breach. The Los Gatos, California, business described it as an “active situation” that’s being investigated by the FBI and other authorities.

Pirated copies of “Orange” could damage Netflix’s subscriber growth and the company’s stock cost.

In the ransom note, The Dark Overlord claimed to have actually stolen series from other studios, too, by getting into a single company. The purported hacker guaranteed to also release those titles unless “modest” ransoms are paid.

Reports of an enormous leak of Hollywood movies and TV episodes have been flowing online for months, fed by purported screenshots of the video footage and a copy of a proposed deal to erase the taken product in return for 10s of thousands of dollars in electronic currency.

When the AP contacted The Dark Overlord in February, the hacker said the purloined video wouldn’t be made openly available after all, making the far-fetched claim that “no one truly (cares) about unreleased motion pictures and TV show episodes.”

It’s not clear what set off The Dark Overload’s restored ransom needs.

Netflix is relying on “Orange” to help it add 3.2 million subscribers from April through June. That’s significantly higher than the company’s typical gain of 1.8 million customers in the same period over the previous five years.

Whenever Netflix’s quarterly subscriber gains fall shy of management’s forecasts, the company’s stock usually plunges.

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