Security News

Radiohead Screw Hacker by Releasing Music Instead of Paying Ransom

Legendary Indie band, Radiohead, have screwed over a hacker.

The would-be-cyber-thief 'accessed' a MiniDisc archive - owned by frontman Thom Yorke - containing unreleased tracks made during the OK Computers sessions in 1997, and asked a reported $150,000 for their release.

The band, in retaliation, decided a collective '**** you' was in order.

"Instead of complaining – much – or ignoring it," said Jonny Greenwood, the band’s guitarist, via Twitter, "we're releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of (climate activists) Extinction Rebellion. Just for the next 18 days. So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom. Never intended for public consumption (some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue), it's only tangentially interesting. And very, very long. Not a phone download."

Thom Yorke echoed Greenwood's comments when he wrote of the 1.8 gigabyte collection: "It's not v interesting. There’s a lot of it ... as it’s out there it may as well be out there until we all get bored and move on."

Perhaps the hacker is too young to remember that Radiohead has a history of putting their music online for fans to access, sometimes even for 'free'! In 2007, the band released their album, In Rainbows, online and let their fans decide how much to pay.

Sometimes it's good when a plan backfires and it's a sure bet Radiohead fans around the world are thanking the hacker for 'giving' them an additional 18 hours of music from their favourite band.

Receive a weekly security report

Join 430 others receiving a free weekly report with a round-up of vulnerabilities and security news customized to your software stack. See an example email

Earlier: