Walt Disney is under fire from hackers according to chief executive, Bob Iger. The latest film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men tell no tales, scheduled for release in Thailand on May 24th (under the name of Salazar’s Revenge), has allegedly been stolen by hackers and unless a ransom is paid, they plan to distribute it online.
In a town-hall meeting with ABC staff, Iger made comments regarding the situation. However, lips are tightly sealed at present, a Disney spokesman declined to comment on the proposed threat.
It seems cyber war is hotting up right now as industries ranging from health care to financial services are under attack. It was only a week ago cyber attackers infected more than 200,000 computers around the world with so-called ransomware. Computers were attacked and a message send stating unless a ransom was paid the data would not be released. Recently in England, hospitals were under threat, with what was described by a government official as one of the “biggest criminal cyberattacks in history”.
Reports say that the threat Walt Disney received is of a serious nature and similar to those experienced by other companies. Netflix was attacked, hackers stole unreleased episodes of Orange is the New Black. Netflix refused to pay a ransom and so the hacker released the episodes on Pirate Bay for anyone to download via torrent.
The most notable and certainly most serious attack came in 2014. Sony Pictures computer system was hacked, releasing thousands of documents, including credit card information and other personal information. The FBI disclosed the attack was from North Korea and as a result Sony Picture’s cancelled the release of “The Interview” a fictional plot about killing the North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-In.
Walt Disney will need to deal with this threat. Over half Walt Disney profits come from media networks and a release of an unreleased film would be extremely costly to the company.