Pirates Of The Caribbean pirated

Actor Johnny Depp attended the world premiere of Disney movie Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Shanghai.
Actor Johnny Depp attended the world premiere of Disney movie Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Shanghai.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The "pirates" in the hacking world could have pulled off a raid and made off with Walt Disney studio's fifth instalment of the lucrative Pirates Of The Caribbean movie franchise.

Walt Disney boss Bob Iger said the hackers are threatening to distribute it online if they are not paid a ransom in bitcoins.

The hackers intend to release five minutes of the film and then 20-minute chunks if their demands are not met.

According to the Bloomberg report, Mr Iger added that the company will not raise any surrender flag.

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He made the comments on Monday in a town-hall meeting with ABC staff before the network's fall season presentation to advertisers yesterday in New York.

Though Mr Iger did not name the movie, a report in Forbes said it is Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. (In Singapore, it is called Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge.)

Starring Johnny Depp, it is slated to "attack" the box office in the United States on May 26 (May 25 in Singapore).

The dilemma faced by Disney is similar to one encountered last month by streaming service Netflix, in which hackers stole unreleased episodes of the fifth season of its hit show Orange Is The New Black.

Netflix declined to pay any ransom and the shows were subsequently leaked online.

Trade publication Variety reported that the hackers had apparently obtained the show through a breach at a post-production company.

Mr Iger said Disney is going on the counter-attack and working with the FBI to sink the hackers.

A lot of booty is at stake.

The previous four Pirates movies have plundered US$3.72 billion at the box office worldwide.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2017, with the headline 'Pirates Of The Caribbean pirated'. Print Edition | Subscribe