The ‘Orange Is the New Black’ leak started with a computer running Windows 7 and a $50,000 bitcoin ransom

Orange is the new black

The hack that led to the April leak of unreleased episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” happened because an audio post-production business called Larson Studios had a computer on its network still running Windows 7.

The hack was carried out in December by a person — or persons — called The Dark Overlord, who stole “dozens of titles from major studios such as Netflix, ABC, CBS, and Disney,” Variety reported.

Over the next few months, The Dark Overlord extorted $US50,000 in bitcoin from Larson Studios, before turning around and trying to ransom the networks (like Netflix), and then releasing titles when they presumably wouldn’t pay up.

“It didn’t have to be this way, Netflix,” The Dark Overlord, said in a message when releasing 10 episodes of “Orange Is the New Black” in April. “You’re going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest offer was.”

But it all started with a computer running outdated software. The Dark Overlord had been searching the internet for computers that used older versions of Windows that would be easy to get into, according to Variety.

“They were basically just trolling around to see if they could find a computer that they could open,” Larson Studios chief engineer David Dondorf told Variety. “It wasn’t aimed at us.” The Dark Overlord found one on the Larson Studios network that was still using Windows 7.

To read the full story of how the hack unfolded, head over to Variety.

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