A hacker has stolen and released early episodes of the upcoming fifth series of Netflix's 'Orange is the New Black'. They also claim to have stolen episodes of other forthcoming shows, including 'New Girl' and 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'.
The hacker – calling themselves The Dark Overlord – released the Netflix episodes to a file-sharing website after demanding a ransom that apparently Netflix didn't pay. The Dark Overlord is now demanding similar payments from major TV networks, or they threaten to do the same.
The Dark Overlord reportedly has episodes of up to 36 new series in their possession, including those from Fox, FX, IFC and CBS. They also claim to have the Vin Diesel film 'XXX: Return of Xander Cage', Netflix's 'Bill Nye Saves the World' (even though it's already available on Netflix) and an original show from YouTube Red, the paid-for version of YouTube.
Netflix declined to comment. But before the episodes were released, it described the scenario as an active situation that was being investigated by the FBI. It also said that the source was a small production company which had suffered a security breach.
The Dark Overlord said in statement: "It didn't have to be this way, Netflix. You're going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest [ransom] offer was."
Such leaks could harm Netflix's subscriber numbers, as viewers could be tempted to download the illegally-obtained shows for free instead of shelling out for a Netflix subscription.