A cyberattacker hacked The English rock band Radiohead stealing private minidisk archive from the band’s third album and subsequent major worldwide hit ‘OK Computer’and threatened to leak them in an extortion scheme if they will not pay the ransom costing $150,000.
Jonny Greenwood, Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist of the band, said that a hacker last week stole lead vocalist Thom Yorke’s minidisk archive, which contained recordings from around the time of the band’s 1997 studio album, OK Computer. In response to the supposed threat, he added that instead of complaining or ignoring it, they were releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion just for the next 18 days.
A user named Zimbraclaimed that he traded a rare unreleased song from another artist with someone else who provided the digital minidisc files. A Discord user named Rhett then asked Zimbra for the price of the files, to which he replied that he was selling each track for $500, and each live version for $50. Someone in the Discord group estimated that the entire thing would cost around $150,000.
Radiohead is now selling its Mini Discs collection which comes in at a whopping 1.8GB in size for only £18 or approximately $30CAD, with all proceeds going to Extinction Rebellion, an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to achieve radical change in order to minimize the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse.
The band said in its Facebook post that the recordings were never intended for public consumption, though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue, it’s only tangentially interesting.
Cybersecurity researchers undergo dark web monitoring and found out that the hacker who was demanding $150,000 from the band made good on the ransom threat by releasing the music two days earlier on the dark web.
A cybersecurity researcher uncovered a Paste bin post that was published on June 9, two days before Radiohead released the collection.The post referred to a URL where the file was supposedly available and a site take down was done immediately following the discovery of the leaked files.The Radio head band successfully defeated the cybercriminal’s intended online brand abuse.