Ahoy: New Pirates of the Caribbean film looted, booty held to ransom

News by Bradley Barth

The latest installment of the blockbusting Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has apparently been stolen and is now being ransomed back to Disney.

True-life digital pirates have reportedly hijacked the upcoming film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and plan to leak it online in increments, unless Disney pays an exorbitant ransom demand to rescue its movie.

The scenario is reminiscent of the April 2017 leak of Orange is the New Black season five, after a hacker or cyber-criminal group called The Dark Overlord stole Netflix content from a third-party company, and subsequently released the episodes in installments when extortion demands weren't met.

According to a report by Deadline Hollywood, Disney CEO Bob Iger acknowledged in a town hall meeting on Monday that a release was stolen, but did not specifically name the title; however, sources identified the film as the fifth movie in the Jack Sparrow franchise that stars Johnny Depp.

Pirates is scheduled for a May 26 release. Disney reportedly will not comply with the ransom demand and is working with the FBI.

"This breach highlights the difficulty in securing data in house or with the numerous production houses they use to bring their stories to life," said Brian Vecci, technical evangelist with insider threat protection firm Varonis Systems. "We don't yet know where exactly the security for this data broke down, but it's clear that Disney, a post-production vendor, or someone else in the chain stopped watching for long enough for the data to get stolen. Either someone had access and wasn't supposed to, or simply wasn't being watched when something went wrong."

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