Saturday, December 20, 2014

Warner Bros. hacked, data held for ransom

Warner Bros. Entertainment was hacked this morning in retaliation to the depiction of Smaug in its new blockbuster film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.



When WB employees arrived this morning for work, they noticed a poorly written warning on their computer screens. The warning depicted what at first appeared to be a skull with long skeletal fingers, but upon closer examination turned out to be Smeagol, another character from the film. “This is just a beginning,” the warning states. “We continue till our request be met.” The poor grammar and other digital clues point to Orcs as the likely attackers.

Using backdoor malware, a time-bomb virus, and Ghash (an Orc word for “fire”), the hackers stole private emails, employee information, and Bilbo Baggins’ home address in the Shire. The hacker team, which calls itself #SMOWG, threatens to release WB’s sensitive data unless Warner Bros. mothballs The Hobbit trilogy and Peter Jackson issues a public apology to Smaug, pledging absolute allegiance to Sauron. Mr. Jackson must also return the ring of power, or else.

Smaug, a fearsome fire-breathing dragon (a little on the heavy side), conquered the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor 150 years ago for its treasure. In the Peter Jackson film, the dragon is depicted as a “most specially greedy, strong, and wicked worm” who suspects everything as being edible. Smaug, incensed by this portrayal, revealed to Stephen Colbert that he blames “typical liberal Hollywood bias” for a dragon being cast as the villain in the film. Also, the camera adds ten tons. Everyone knows that.



Furthering the insult, Smaug, in Peter Jackson’s depiction, has only one weak spot in his armor, a missing scale that broke off during his attack on Dale. This, Smaug contends, is not true to his real-life weak spot, which is actually a gap in the gems and gold embedded in his belly (although gold, being heavy and malleable, makes for terrible armor; a missing scale makes way more sense as a sole weak spot).

President Obama cautions WB not to give in to the hackers’ demands. “I have yet to see The Hobbit. If we as a nation allow despots such as Smaug to dictate what we can and cannot watch, how am I supposed to know what happens to poor Bilbo Baggins?”

If the trilogy remains available, the hackers threaten Helm’s Deep-style attacks on theaters that are still showing the film. Anyone watching a bootlegged copy of the movie will become visible to the eye of Sauron, and Ringwraiths will be dispatched to their location.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is playing now in a theater near you.