Disney Refuses To Pay Hacker Ransom To Prevent Early Release of Pirates Of The Caribbean Movie

Disney has refused to pay a ransom hackers are demanding in exchange for not releasing a copy of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales across the Internet.

On Monday, it was reported that Walt Disney’s chief executive Robert Iger revealed that hackers had managed to gain access to a copy of a movie the company is making, which, according to Deadline, turned out to be the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Just say no

At the time of writing it is yet unclear how the hackers gained access to the movie, though it would appear to be a potential insider threat.

But what is clear is that the hackers want to extort Disney out of a large amount of money, demanded in Bitcoin, if the company wishes to avoid them releasing the film in 20 minute chunks ahead of the May 26 release date.

But Iger noted that Disney is steadfast in its decision not to pay the hackers and is working with the authorities to tackle the security breach and threat of extortion.

While a risky move, Disney’s decision has meant the approval of security ESET cyber security specialist Mark James.

“Disney has refused to pay the ransom and rightly so. If you’re going to download the film from an unofficial or dodgy source anyway then a month before or a month after is not going to make much of a difference,” he said.

“The film industry has been plagued with piracy issues as early as the 1960’s and this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Paying the ransom or indeed any ransom is generally frowned upon for many reasons. Funding other criminal activity, rewarding the bad guys or funding future attacks are all good reasons to not pay as chances are it’s going to get released anyway.”

However, James also pointed out that that such cyber attacks with extortion in mind are not likely to go away any time soon.

“Anything that has a value will always be a potential victim of theft, either digital or physical. If someone has it and someone wants it then in theory there’s a market for it,” he explained.

It would appear that the Disney hack was more of a target attack than more of a scatter gun approach as seen with the WannaCry ransomware that is wreaking havoc with organisations across the world running legacy software like Windows XP.

Quiz: The triumph and the tragedy of public sector IT

Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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