Taking advantage of the fact that pretty much everyone wants to know what Daya’s going to do with that gun she picked up at the end of last season, a hacker leaked some episodes of Season 5 of Orange is the New Black over the weekend after Netflix refused to pay a “modest” ransom.
The hacker, who goes by the name of The Dark Overlord — spooky! — alleged that they were in possession of the full season of the series that was supposed to drop on June 9th, and reportedly asked Netflix for a “modest sum” in return for not posting the episodes online. But when the streaming service didn’t pay up, the hacker uploaded the first episode, and then another nine, to an illegal file-sharing service on Saturday.
Netflix confirmed that a production company it works with was hacked earlier this winter, and that an investigation is ongoing, but it didn’t confirm the authenticity of the files The Dark Overlord (you have to say this in a “movie trailer guy” voice) allegedly uploaded.
Netflix released a statement saying, “We are aware of the situation. A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.”
The Dark Overlord is getting pretty brazen, though, and responded on social media early Saturday afternoon, sounding a lot like A.D. from Pretty Little Liars:
The hacker also claims to have other videos from networks such as ABC, National Geographic, and Fox after a 2016 cyberattack on Larson Studios, an audio post-production company that puts the final touches on many of our favorite shows.
Engadget reported that Larson had offered to pay the hackers (likely just to make the whole mess go away) but then changed its mind (because, hey, cooperating with criminals is never a good look). But it might have been this back and forth that got The Dark Overlord’s undies in a bunch.
The whole thing seems to be about money, which is what the hackers want. And the hackers think that releasing videos ahead of their premiere date will hurt Netflix’ subscriber base and revenues this summer, since OITNB is a pretty big draw. Who knows what the outcome will be or just what kind of hit Netflix will take due to this hack, but the FBI is involved in the investigation.
No matter what you think about the flow of information on the internet and how free it should be, the final videos of shows belong to their respective networks, so this was technically a crime (which is why we should all just stay off the torrent sites).
At this point, Netflix should probably just release the full season of Orange is the New Black this week to get ahead of the illegal downloads. That way, the company can show the hackers who’s boss AND all of us OITNB fans can get an early fix.