Thousands of Disney+ accounts have reportedly been compromised, being sold or even given away for free on the dark web less than a week after the streaming service’s initial launch.
It’s unfortunate timing for Disney, as the content giant launches the service in Australia today.
But some of those accounts have now been taken over by hackers, who login and quickly change your email and password so you can’t regain access.
The hacks are practically to be expected as stolen accounts for other streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video have also been traded and sold on the dark web for years.
According to ZDNet, who first revealed Disney+ accounts were being stolen and sold last week, several of the affected customers admitted they had reused passwords previously used on other sites that may have been hacked and leaked, but others said they had used virgin passwords when signing up for the new streaming service.
This indicates they may have had their details stolen via malware or keylogging software infecting the device they used to sign up.
Disney said there had been no security breach on their end.
“Disney takes the privacy and security of our users’ data very seriously, and there is no indication of a security breach on Disney+,” a company spokesperson told news.com.au.
If you’re signing up to Disney+, it might be worth scanning your device for malware and not using a password you’ve used on another website, which is always good practice but, realistically, not always followed.
Regardless of how their accounts were stolen, affected customers have accused Disney of being unhelpful in retrieving them, while others have accused the platform of having lax security.
Two-factor authentication, an added security measure where you get a text message or similar notification with an access code after a new device tries logging into your account, has not been on Disney+ since it first launched.
Whether Aussies flock to sign up to Disney+ remains to be seen, but some locals have already expressed annoyance at the company’s advertising strategy.
Last week, news.com.au revealed several of the launch titles that would be coming to the new streaming service, which will host several iconic properties including Disney’s own cartoons as well as the Star Wars, Marvel, and The Simpsons franchises it’s acquired over the past decade.
Disney announced the titles in a rapid-fire video on its Instagram account, but it appears that same compilation has made its way on to commercial television, and the initial reactions have not been favourable after it aired in the middle of The Amazing Race last night.
The local launch of Disney+ has been hotly anticipated for several months now, and now that it’s here, we should soon see the breadth of its impact.
Many eyes will be on the Nine Entertainment-owned Stan streaming service, which, despite being the only Australian-owned of the major streamers, is expected to suffer from the introduction of Disney+ and the associated loss of its content on Stan. The platform can bank on the high re-watchability and deep catalogues of classic sitcoms like Parks and Recreation, Friends, Frasier and Seinfeld, but also faces challenges there as it’s due to lose at least Seinfeld to Netflix in 2021.
Foxtel and its on-demand streaming service Foxtel Now will retain some of its Disney content for the moment.
Consumer comparison website Finder’s editor-in-chief Angus Kidman said Disney+ would be extremely competitive, but users should try before they buy.
“Disney+ is competitively priced compared to Netflix and Stan, so it’ll be interesting to see how many Aussies are drawn to the House of Mouse,” Mr Kidman said.
“Make use of the seven-day free trial to make sure you like the service before committing. Just set yourself a calendar reminder to cancel before the eighth day.”
Disney+ costs $9 a month and streams in high-definition, eschewing tiered pricing and coming in $5 cheaper than Netflix and Stan, which are $14 a month to stream high-definition.
Will you be signing up for Disney+? Let us know in the comments below.