Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

Radiohead sells recordings to public after ‘Creep’ hacker threatens to leak them

The English rock band Radiohead has decided to sell some of its unreleased recording materials after a hacker stole them and threatened to leak them in an extortion scheme.

The proceeds will go toward Extinction Rebellion, an environmentalist movement that relies on nonviolent resistance to generate awareness and advance its causes.

In a tweet today, Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist Jonny Greenwood said 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. Reportedly, the hacker threatened to publish the materials if he (or she) did not receive $150,000.

"So instead of complaining – much – or ignoring it, we're releasing all 18 hours..." Greenwood said in the post, which was retweeted by the official Radiohead Twitter account.

For just 18 days, the band is making the sessions available via the online music service Bandcamp for a price tag of £18. "So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom," joked Greenwood.

"Never intended for public consumption (though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue) it's only tangentially interesting," Greenwood continued. "And very, very long. Not a phone download. Rainy out, isn't it though?"

A brief product listing on the Bandcamp website, apparently written by Yorke, describes the materials as "my archived mini discs from 1995-1998(?). Yorke added: "it's not v interesting" and there's a lot of it."

"[A]s it's out there it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on," Yorke concluded.

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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