Last week, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly informed employees that hackers had infiltrated the company and stole a copy of the latest installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, due out on May 26. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the suspected perpetrators demanded a ransom, or they would release the movie in 20-minute increments if Disney failed to pay up.
The incident followed the recent theft of 10 episodes of Netflix's new season of "Orange is the New Black," which was released on the Web after the company refused to pay up. A Twitter user called "The Dark Overlord" claimed responsibility, warning ominously that the release was only just the beginning.
"Who is next on the list? FOX, IFC, NAT GEO, and ABC. Oh, what fun we're all going to have. We're not playing any games anymore."
Thus far, Disney has refused to cooperate, raising the possibility that "Pirates" could hit the Internet before its planned release date. Yet in an era where data breaches are becoming increasingly commonplace, several experts said Disney—and companies that find themselves in a similar predicament—should take a hard line with cyber-terrorists.
"No, don't pay the ransom," said Tom Kulik, an intellectual property lawyer at Scheef & Stone law firm in Dallas, told CNBC.
"More and more frequently, hackers responsible for ransomware attacks take the money and provide no (or inadequate) means to decrypt the files after payment. Sometimes, they even attempt to extort more," Kulik explained.
By not paying a ransom immediately, "Disney is taking the right approach because there is nothing they can do to prevent the hackers from leaking the movie right now, so paying any ransom solves nothing," he added.