A Deal With the Dark Overlord: These Are the Rules Imposed by the Hollywood Hackers (Exclusive)

The hackers gave the Wrap some of the terms of their “agreements” with studios

When the hackers known as The Dark Overlord stole the latest season of “Orange is the New Black,” they sent a list of demands — but not the way you might expect. The Dark Overlord’s terms look less like a ransom note than a dull legal contract.

The language reimagines the hackers’ blackmail attempt as a “contract” or “agreement” between the hackers and their victim. The hackers refer to themselves as “thedarkoverlord, a subsidiary of TheDarkOverlord Solutions, a subsidiary of World Wide Web, LLC [WWW, LLC]” and as “the proposer.”

The target of the hack is referred to as the “Client.” Here is some sample language:

4. TERMINATION AND GUARANTEES a. thedarkoverlord reserves the right to rescind this agreement if the “Client” and/or associated parties of the “Client” fail to understand the agreement before the aforementioned deadline. b. thedarkoverlord reserves the right to rescind, cancel, or otherwise terminate this agreement if this agreement is not accorded and satisfied by the aforementioned deadline. c. Conditionally, thedarkoverlord will make no attempts to defraud this agreement after the understanding of this agreement by the “Client” and/or associated parties of the “Client”. i. Condition A is that the thedarkoverlord may defraud this agreement if the “Client” and/or associated parties of the “Client” fail to accord and satisfy the terms of this contract. d. The “Client” and/or associated parties of the “Client” will make no attempts to defraud this agreement after the understanding of this agreement. i. If any attempts by the “Client” and/or associated parties of the “Client” are made to defraud this agreement after the understanding of this agreement, thedarkoverlord reserves the right to rescind, cancel, or otherwise terminate this agreement. ii. If any attempts by the “Client” and/or associated parties of the “Client” are made to defraud this agreement after the understanding of this agreement, thedarkoverlord reserves the right to inflict harm and further adversarial action against by the “Client” and/or associated parties of the “Client”.

The hackers told TheWrap they released the new season of “Orange Is the New Black” a month early because their “Client,” family-owned post-production company Larson Studios, violated the agreement by contacting the FBI and police. The hackers said this was an attempt to “defraud this agreement.”

The Dark Overlord had hacked the season from the studio’s computers, and released it even though Larson Studio paid more than $50,000 in Bitcoin to the hackers, according to Variety.

Of course, a blackmail demand would never hold up in court. But the “contract” works for the Dark Overlord because the hackers are the only ones who judge whether the “Client” is in compliance.

“We found Larson Studios was in great delinquency of the agreement after sources confirmed law enforcement cooperation,” the hackers told TheWrap, via an online encrypted messaging service.

Despite Dark Overlord’s insistence its victims keep quiet, security experts recommend reporting hacks to law enforcement.

“Without knowing the details and being a third party outside of what’s happening, I’d say, yes, you want to go to the FBI. I’d also say don’t pay them,” said Zuly Gonzalez, a former cybersecurity expert with the NSA and co-founder and CEO of Light Point Security, a cybersecurity firm.”It’s not wise to pay them, because if you do, you’re a studio willing to pay money and they’re just going to keep hacking you.”