Hackers Threaten New Disney Movie Release For Bitcoin

  • 1 September 2017
  • Cas Proffitt

Ransomware has become a common issue, and many employees are now taught to be extremely wary of clicking on links. Major cyber security threats, including WannaCry, have nearly everyone on edge, no matter the size of the company or complexity of protection.

Now, Disney is no exception.

According to Deadline, the newest Pirates of the Caribbean film, Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is poised to be released later this month, is being held ransom by malicious hackers.

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This group of hackers is threatening to release the new film online in twenty-minute chunks until Disney folds to their demands–exorbitant amounts of money paid in bitcoin.

While the demand to see Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom together yet again on the turbulent seas is high, and fans may opt for an early, free online viewing if the hackers get their way, reports state that Disney is unwilling to cave.

The notoriously litigious company is rumored to be in contact with the FBI in order to track the hacker(s).

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This decision by Disney is shared by the media giant Netflix, who also opted against offering up ransom money when hackers requested pay in exchange for not posting the new Orange is the New Black season online.

When Netflix declined the offer, the hackers succeeded in sharing the new season online with fans who were inclined to view the pirated material.

Now that the pirates are targeting Pirates, yet another wash of bad publicity for bitcoin's anonymity faces the general public.

Bitcoin, the blockchain-based currency that has been receiving major attention from governments and investors worldwide, was once considered the realm of hackers and criminals (and freethinkers), the sorts of folks one would find on the Silk Road on the “Deep Web.” The stigma surrounding this has kept many members of the general population away from the currency for fear of being associated with unsavory characters.

While it is unclear whether this ransom attack on Disney is merely a stretch for cash or if it is more politically and socially rooted, the hackers behind this may not have considered their actions in light of the long-term future, nor the opportunities for freedom and anonymity in exchange they are depriving their spawn and kin of, simply due to persistent threats such as these which spur stricter legislation and regulation on cryptocurrency.

While some people may see these new regulations as helpful for weeding out threats such as these, others find them to be against the purpose and spirit of cryptocurrency. No matter which way you spin, malicious hackers are not taking the correct actions if they want cryptocurrency to remain any semblance of what it was in its earliest days.


The new Pirates of the Caribbean movie is due out on May 26, a release that will further compound the lifetime earnings of the movie which already exceed $3.6 billion in box office alone.

In the time until release, we may see an arrest of the offending hackers, although it is possible if not likely that it could take substantial time to track down the perpetrators if they're ever to be found at all. Then, we may also gain understanding into what sort of slip occurred that let the hackers access the film in the first place.

Do you think the hackers are out to make a dollar or a statement? Let us know in the comments below!


About Cas Proffitt

Cas is a B2B Content Marketer and Brand Consultant who specializes in disruptive technology. She covers topics like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and big data, to name a few. Cas is also co-owner of an esports organization and spends much of her time teaching gamers how to make a living doing what they love while bringing positivity to the gaming community.