Netflix found itself in serious trouble after a hacking group announced that they had stolen the complete season 5 of its hit comedy drama Orange Is The New Black. The hackers reportedly asked for an undisclosed ransom to prevent them from sharing the series online ahead of its premiere on 9 June.
Now, it seems, Netflix is not the only network in a soup. The hackers announced that Twitter, Fox, IFC, National Geographic and ABC were next on their list.
Going by the moniker The Dark Overlord (TDO), the group released a lengthy statement on Pastebin, expanding on their attack on Netflix via a "production vendor".
"After a significant amount of time was spent on reconnaissance and prodding company perimeters, we managed to weave ourselves into the foundation of one company who gave us access to a significant title in the Netflix original series portfolio: Orange Is The New Black - Season 5, the hackers' screed read. But that's not all, we also helped ourselves to copies of titles from other companies. However, this specific release will focus on Netflix."
According to Torrentfreak, the actual hack into the system may have taken place at the Hollywood-based Larson Studios, last year. TDO explained that it had got its hands on the content a few months back but was waiting for Netflix to release its first trailers so as to verify the legitimacy of the claim.
"And sure enough, the trailers dropped and we were able to find the scenes that were used. Armed with this information, we naturally approached Netflix and the others in an attempt to devise a mutually-beneficial arrangement where we are paid and Netflix and friends don't wake up to find their hard work plastered on the internet," they wrote online. "Our proposals went unanswered so our hands have been forced. We were quite offended by our targets' responses (or lack thereof)."
The group went on to share the first episode of season 5 of OITNB on Pirate Bay.
"We are aware of the situation," Netflix said in a statement. "A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved." According to Deadline, the FBI have already started investigating the crime.
While the group decided to focus their note on Netflix and not mention the other four networks by name, their tweet on 29 April gave clarity to the threat. ABC, Fox, IFC and National Geographic have yet to release a statement regarding the theft.
TDO did, however, issue a warning in its note, that the other companies would soon be receiving e-mails of a similar nature as those sent to Netflix.
"Now, because we punish in a pervasive guilty-by-association manner, other companies in the American entertainment industry shouldn't be surprised if they were too wake up to a verbose, condescending, and abusive letter in their inbox extending a hand of friendship and (most likely) demanding a modest sum of internet money," they wrote.
"While 'modest' is certainly a matter of a particular perspective, we're inclined to believe that any offer we've extended is a most modest one, at that. While we may be vicious internet hooligans, we're not unreasonable creatures. In fact, here at TheDarkOverlord Solutions, we're quite proud to say that we've been at the forefront of pioneering new friends, business relationships, and producing charitable extensions of our good graces for our said friends, and of course, a request of an always modest sum of internet money."