Tonight the Associated Press is reporting that ahead of it's scheduled June 9th season premiere date, the Netflix hit series Orange is the New Black is among several which are claimed to have been stolen by a hacker. The hacker, going by the name The Dark Lord, has sent a ransom note to the digital content company demanding what is termed a "modest" amount, otherwise they will release the episodes to online file sharing networks.
As a strange version of "proof of life," the hacker has claimed to have uploaded the first episode of the upcoming season to an illegal file sharing service, however Netflix has not yet confirmed if the file is authentic (however if it exists and has new footage it would not likely be anything else). The potential fallout isn't restricted to our favorite group of incarcerated women – the hacker also claims to have stolen additional series from other studios, all by breaching the network of a single company.
Deadline spoke to Netflix and was told that, "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." It seems that the streaming service also told AP it is an "active situation" that the FBI and others are investigating.
The way the language reads, it seems likely that the claim is true, however if the thefts are truly full seasons, or if they're just rough cuts in various stages of assembly remains to be seen. At this time there's still no word which company might have been the victim of the breach, however if true this could have an impact on companies which face increasing challenges in increasing their subscriber base.
There have been ongoing rumors of the theft of a number of Hollywood films and TV episodes since early in the new year, with various screenshots and random demands in bitcoins. The threats had gone silent for a while, but this resurfacing of a random note, along with the purported uploading of a full episode may mean that something significant might be getting ready to happen if the demands aren't met.
We'll be following this story over the upcoming weeks as we hear more.