The Dark Overlord, the hacker or hackers behind the recent leak of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” confirmed Tuesday in an electronic conversation with Variety that they had leaked the show despite receiving a ransom payment of roughly $50,000 earlier this year.
Variety published an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the events that led up to the leak Tuesday morning. That account was based on an extensive interview with executives from Larson Studios, the Hollywood-based audio post-production facility that had its network breached by the Dark Overlord in late 2016. One key revelation: Larson Studios had sent the hackers 50 Bitcoin, which equaled about $50,000 at the time, to keep them from leaking any shows they had stolen.
The Dark Overlord told Variety Tuesday afternoon that they had indeed received this payment. They also confirmed that they proceeded to nonetheless leak the show to punish Larson Studios for talking to the FBI, calling it a “fraudulent” violation of its “contract.”
“We found Larson Studios was in great delinquency of the agreement after sources confirmed law enforcement cooperation,” the group said. “Our agreement provides us the right to execute harmful action against any client who defrauds our agreement.”
The Dark Overlord is known to use written agreements full of pseudo-legalese to broker ransom payments, going as far as to demand that victims of their hacking attacks agree in writing to their terms. The group told Variety Tuesday that it had “never abused any contract we’ve executed” and to date “performed and upheld all legal contracts.”
It’s still unclear who is behind the Dark Overlord, and whether it intends to leak any additional material it obtained during its December 2016 hack. The group is thought to be in the possession of up to three dozen shows and made-for-TV movies from major networks including CBS, NBC, and ABC. The dark Overlord declined to comment on any plans to leak additional shows.