A hacker or hacking group has purportedly stolen episodes from the upcoming season of the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black and posted them online after the streaming service failed to pay a ransom.
According to the Associated Press, which first reported the news, a hacker using the name "The Dark Overlord" uploaded the first episode of the prison drama's fifth season on Friday to an illegal file-sharing website. The hacker demanded Netflix pay a "modest" ransom in order for additional episodes not to be released, the AP reported.
But in a statement posted online early Saturday, the hacker said Netflix had been "unresponsive," prompting them to release more episodes.
"With this information in mind (and the fact that leaving people on cliffhangers isn't fun) we've decided to release Episodes 2-10 of "Orange Is The New Black" Season 5 after many lengthy discussions at the office where alcohol was present," the message read.
The series' 13-episode season was due to premiere on June 9. The hackers said they were only able to steal the first 10 episodes because the final three were still in post-production.
"It didn't have to be this way, Netflix," the hacker wrote. "You're going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest offer was."
BuzzFeed News could not legally determine the validity of the episodes purportedly posted on the file-sharing website.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Netflix blamed the breach on a security compromise by a third-party production vendor.
"We are aware of the situation," Netflix spokeswoman Karen Barragan said. "A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved."
The hacker claimed to have more Netflix content that it may still upload, as well as content from ABC, National Geographic, Fox, and the Independent Film Channel.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.