Disney CEO Bob Iger: Hacker Threat About Stolen Movie Was a Hoax

Bob Iger
Richard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Disney chief Bob Iger confirmed the company received a threat from cybercriminals who claimed to have stolen the digital copy of a movie — but that the studio believes the claims were false.

“To our knowledge we were not hacked,” Iger said in an interview with Yahoo Finance published Thursday. “We had a threat of a hack of a movie being stolen. We decided to take it seriously but not react in the manner in which the person who was threatening us had required.”

Iger added, “We don’t believe that it was real and nothing has happened.”

According to some reports, the movie in question was Johnny Depp-starrer “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” But piracy-news site TorrentFreak, citing an email exchange with someone purporting to be behind the extortion attempt, reported that the hackers told Disney they stole an incomplete cut of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

The unidentified hackers had demanded that Disney pay a ransom — in the untraceable bitcoin crypto-currency — or else they would release the purloined movie in five-minute chunks. According to Iger, Disney refused to pay anything.

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is set to debut Friday, May 26, and its next movie release is “Cars 3,” which hits theaters June 16. “The Last Jedi” is slated to bow Dec. 15, 2017.

Word of the threat leveled at Disney came just three weeks after 10 episodes of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” season five were stolen by a hacking ring — which subsequently did release them on piracy networks after the company did not cave in to the extortion demands. That same group also claimed it stole at least three dozen additional TV shows and movies.

The most devastating hack against a movie studio came against Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014, when attackers employed by the North Korean regime took down the majority of Sony’s computer infrastructure, and stole and released internal company emails and unreleased movies. The government was retaliating for the studio’s comedy film “The Interview,” which involves the assassination of the country’s dictator by two TV journalists who are recruited by the CIA as spies. Michael Lynton, who was CEO of Sony Pictures at the time, recalled last week at a conference that he wasn’t sure if the studio would survive the attack.

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  1. Milton says:

    Disney is run by an idiot. Disney makes huge amounts off film sequels, which any Disney CEO has profited from for years, but this bozo has single-handedly ruined their theme parks, ABC and destroyed ESPN, which is a shell of its formal self. And he wants to run for president? LOL!

  2. Will not pay for Hollyweird movies. Why should I view hacked ones.

  3. Will says:

    Haha this is fake news, the movie is already been released on the Internet haha you dumbasses just don’t know where to look

  4. wargellargo says:

    It was the Russians! We don’t have any proof, or know how they did it, but they hacked “it”. What ever “it” is had a serious impact on the results of the movie box office revenue! We should no longer accept Russians hacking “It” what ever “it” might be, even with or without proof of whatever “it” is that they hacked, and even if the hacking does or does not change the outcome of whatever “it” is they hacked with or without proof hacking “it” changed the outcome, of that was hacked by the hacking of whatever “it” was in association to the thing being hacked!

    If “it” keeps being hacked, and weather or not there is proof of the hacking of “it” effects the outcome of what ever “it” is associated with, I saw we should all riot and vandalis Portland, Oakland, Berkeley, and our Nation’s capital. As well as assault lynch attack and herrase the oppositio, and kidnap and torture disabled kids.
    Just like the last time the Russians hacked “it” and with or without proof of evidence, or that the hacking of “it” did or did not change the outcome of what “it” that was hacked was associated with, just like those strong anarchist “freedom fighters, of democracy of peace” did on following the rumored hacking of the Russians hacking “it” that may or may not of affected the outcome of the election, with out the proof and evidence that they were responsible for hacking “it” and changing the outcome.

    Wow I don’t know where that came from, or how I dragged it our so long. I feel like I tried to make a joke by using lower language.

  5. Jack Inmanz says:

    The hacker was real. He watched the movie and gave it back.

  6. joe says:

    Publicity stunt by a failing studio. You would have to pay me to watch Depp in anything.

  7. Mark Smith says:

    WHO WOULD STEAL A JOHNNY DEPP MOVIE?

  8. DJSmith says:

    Hands up all those who DIDN’T say: “PR Hoax” on the day.

  9. KLine says:

    And this idiot wants to run for president.

  10. Marie says:

    Had a feeling since it’s day before the movie is released and we haven’t heard about the “ransom” for a couple of days.

  11. A hoax for sure. No sane human being would expect Disney to pay for ANYTHING.

  12. Ban Stupidity says:

    Why would a journalist pose as a spy?

  13. Darren Anderson says:

    Disney wishes Pirates was stolen!

  14. 2ndprotectsall says:

    A way to promote a movie?

  15. Worrying about someone stealing the latest Pirates movie is like worrying someone is going to steal your trashcan.

  16. Fake internet hacker extortion will likely be a trend in the short term. The chance of getting a ransom seems slim, so I expect hackers will give up and go to outright digital theft..

  17. Rick says:

    No one would want to get a copy of Pirates. Wife beater anyone? Star wars yes please.

  18. Carter says:

    More like Disney paid up and are now spinning one hell of a story

  19. Joe E in the IE says:

    As the air grows thick with the stench of publicity stunt bull-pucky.

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