Most of the bad cybersecurity news from this week and last has centered around the WannaCry ransomware attacks that have affected hundreds of thousands of devices worldwide, but there’s one apparently unrelated attack that’s making pretty big waves itself. Yesterday, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that one of the studio’s upcoming movies has been leaked and is being held hostage by hackers threatening to release the movie piece by piece if they aren’t paid.
Iger didn’t confirm which movie was being held for ransom, nor did he divulge the hackers’ asking price (which was demanded in Bitcoins, of course). He did confirm that the hackers have threatened to release the first five minutes of the movie in question, then continue to release it in 20-minute chunks at unspecified intervals. The FBI has been called in to help investigate, but in the meantime, Iger has said that Disney will not pay the ransom.
While Iger didn’t specify the movie, the list of possibilities is short. It must be a movie that’s already been completed, which for Disney only leaves Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Cars 3. It’s possible that it’s an early version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but it’s unknown if that movie is far enough along in post-production for such a version to exist.
A Deadline report has the movie as Pirates, although the report specifies neither the nature nor the identity of the source of that information. It’s the best we have to go on right now, though, along with our intuition that hackers probably wouldn’t try to publicly extort Disney using Cars 3.
Whatever the case, Disney isn’t in the mood for a parley. Unfortunately for them, it’s very difficult to trace the precise location of a hacker, and even if the feds manage it, it’s all too easy to upload a file to the internet. If the movie in question is indeed Pirates, we’ll know for sure pretty soon — the movie hits theaters on May 26.