Stealing of Movies for extortion - Baahubali 2 the latest victim

Baahubali 2 has become another victim of the extortion racket targeted at movies. However, like a typical movie, this seems to have had a good ending. Sixteen perpetrators of this incident have been arrested for stealing a copy of Baahubali 2 and demanding a ransom from the producers of the movie, Arka Mediaworks Entertainment Ltd.

This greedy gang of sixteen threatened to publish the movie on the Internet, if a ransom was not paid. According to India.com, representatives of Arka Mediaworks refused to pay the blackmailers and immediately called the police.

As part of the tactics used to identify the perpetrators, the police asked Arka Mediaworks to play along and seek proof that the movie was indeed stolen. The perpetrators did not know that the copy of the film was "cleverly" marked for copy protection and provided the company with a filler from the movie.

This allowed law enforcement agencies to trace the stolen copy to a specific theatre whose owner was soon arrested. Torrent Freak notes that watermarks allow producers to track exactly where a cam-copy of movie was made, but in this case attackers had digital copy of the film. This suggests that the perpetrators had managed to secure the encryption key which is required to decrypt content (or the movie in this case).

While the owner of the theatre was one of the sixteen arrested, it was also learnt that two of the arrested had been detained in 2015 as well for dealing in pirated copies of Baahubali 1! Old habits do die hard...

The Baahubali incident was not an isolated one. In recent months, hackers put 10 episodes of the new season of the series "Orange Is The New Black" on the internet. The hacker/s - known as the Dark Overlord is said to have stated that representatives of Netflix and Larson Studios refused to pay the ransom, and thus the online posting in retaliation.

It has been learnt that hackers also sought to blackmail Disney by threatening to publish from the latest movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales.


- Christina
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