A hacker claims to have followed through on a threat to release several episodes from the upcoming season of Netflix's hit series "Orange Is The New Black."
The hacker, using the name the Dark Overlord, announced the move in a post on Twitter early Saturday. The post included a link to an illegal file-sharing service where 10 episodes from the series' upcoming fifth season were purportedly available for download.
The Associated Press could not legally confirm the authenticity of the uploaded files.
New episodes of "Orange" are scheduled for official release June 9.
"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 said in an official statement Saturday.
Pirated copies of "Orange" could dent Netflix's subscriber growth and the company's stock price.
In the ransom note, the Dark Overlord claimed to have stolen series from other studios too by breaking into a single company. The hacker promised to release those titles as well unless "modest" ransoms are paid.
Rumors of a massive leak of Hollywood films and TV episodes have been circulating online for months, fed by screenshots of footage and a copy of a proposed deal to delete the stolen material in return for tens of thousands of dollars in electronic currency.
When the AP contacted the Dark Overlord in February, the hacker said the purloined video wouldn't be made publicly available after all, making the far-fetched claim that "no one really [cares] about unreleased movies and TV show episodes."
It's not clear what triggered the Dark Overload's renewed ransom demands.
Netflix is counting on "Orange" to help it meet its goal of adding 3.2 million subscribers from April through June. That's substantially higher than the company's average gain of 1.8 million subscribers in the same period over the past five years.
When Netflix's quarterly subscriber gains fall short of management's projections, the company's stock has usually plunged.
12:55 p.m.: This article was updated with the purported release of new episodes of “Orange Is the New Black.”
12:10 p.m. This article was updated with an official statement from Netflix.
This article was originally published at 9:40 a.m.