The hacker, known as 'The Dark Overlord' (slightly Voldermort-esque, but effective, we grant you) was reportedly demanding a ransom from Netflix to stop him / her releasing the new series of the hit show before it officially airs in June.
The hacker also claimed to have stolen series from other studios such as ABC and FOX, and images have been circulating online of a purported 'deal' to delete the material in return for thousands of dollars.
Netflix had earlier released this statement:
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.
Netflix did not respond to the unspecified ransom, and it seems that the hacker has followed through on the threat.
He / she posted a link on Twitter claiming to have released the episodes of Netflix's most-watched show.
Variety last night confirmed that ten episodes have been leaked on file-sharing site Pirate Bay, seemingly from the new Season 5 - although it isn't yet possible to legally verify their authenticity.
The Independent has approached Netflix for comment.
The hacker posted this aggressive statement online:
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 offer was. We’re quite ashamed to breathe the same air as you.
We figured a pragmatic business such as yourselves would see and understand the benefits of cooperating with a reasonable and merciful entity like ourselves.
[...] And to the others: there’s still time to save yourselves. Our offer(s) are still on the table — for now.
The responses on Twitter have been...varied, to say the least.
I failed to headline my tweet about this 'Orange is the New Blackmail' and therefore I hereby resign from journalism https://t.co/BRPv3Wc9Am