The latest digital criminal, dubbed ‘The Dark Overlord’ (often referred to as ‘TDO’), has tapped into the Netflix original series digital coffers and stolen away with 10 episodes of Season 5 of Orange is the New Black. The new season was not planned to be released until June 9, 2017.
TDO does have a reputation; within the last year, he is reported to have hacked and released information for 3 insurance companies, for which he takes full credit.
Aware of his advantage in the situation, he made sure to go the full nine yards and send some condescending messages to his victims, questioning their intelligence and the normal fare for belittling one’s opponents. His initial request was a ransom, but Netflix seems to have underestimated him, or at least they did not think he was serious or their worst problem.
When they failed to send the money, he released the episodes on an illegal file-sharing site in the early morning of April 29. Supposedly, TDO also has access to other networks’ material since the same production company is used by FOX, ABC, IFC, and National Geographic. Don’t worry: they were all explicitly mentioned in TDO’s threat, too. They are just further down the target list, and Netflix is just the first.
This lands a blow on Netflix because they were expecting new or unsubscribed watchers of the show to become subscribers. Their estimated number was just under 1.5 million, which is not surprising since the show is award-winning and has been nominated for a Golden Globe in several categories for three of its four years in existence. However, it isn’t the show content that matters now to the hacker so much as its popularity and profit it brings in for Netflix. The streaming service did release a statement on April 28 confirming that the proper authorities have been notified and are working on the issue.
Hopefully, the miscreant is caught soon, not simply because he maliciously leaked a business’ valuable material and product, but also because one can only imagine the kind of classified or personal data from unsuspecting people that could be released, especially if his intent is corrupt. Strangely enough, one of technology’s merits becomes a problem: everyone reaps the benefits in some way or another, and it is more often the person that is the problem rather than the weapon of his choice.
– Kelly Gatewood