A NOTORIOUS piracy group with potential links to Australia is once again promising to leak the Summer’s biggest movies ahead of the film industry’s award season.

The group, known as Hive-CM8, have a reputation for getting a hold of screeners and illegally releasing them online and after laying low, it appears they’re back.A screener is an advanced copy of a movie sent to critics, journalists, awards voters and others in the industry including producers and distributors. There are plenty in circulation in the months before the Oscars, which gives pirate groups the chance to leak the films online, sometimes even before their theatrical release. It can be a tricky task because screeners typically have security mechanisms to theoretically make them traceable to the recipient of that specific copy.

During the Christmas period last year the group caused a major stir when it announced it was in possession of 40 major films and promised to dump them online.

Hive-CM8 uploaded high quality copies of award-winning movies including The Hateful Eight, The Revenant and Spotlight.
But after a major backlash and a highly publicised FBI investigation, the group only released 14 titles. At the time, popular torrent forums claimed one user had posted personal information that could identify one of the file uploaders, spooking those responsible.

The group even published an apology for releasing Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight before it hit cinemas.
But internet pirates are buzzing with news that Hive-CM8 are at it again. The group has posted an online statement alongside the release of the new

Assassin’s Creed movie, signalling their intentions and saying they don’t want to make the same mistakes as last year.
“Yes, still here and kicking, we had to have a break for some time. Bet you are waiting for screeners, yep why not,” the group wrote.

“We were definitely not in the mood to make the same mistakes as last year with screeners before Christmas or cinema release date.”
According to a report by TorrentFreak which also verified the online statement, a secondary source told the website that the group was already in possession of some screeners. However it has put the call out in a bid to get their hands on whatever they can.

“Now that Christmas holidays have passed we are actually looking forward to getting the dice rolling,” Hive-CM8 wrote.
“We want to get the screeners out safely and securely like every year. Whoever has a screener or knows someone who has one and wants to share privately or in public, just let us know. We are here.”

It’s believed Hive-CM8 is a collection of pirates loosely tied to a website called crikeym8.com which makes money from releasing early copies of the movies to its subscribers, Fairfax previously reported. Given the name of the website and the fact that its (infrequently used) Twitter account is linked to Melbourne, it’s believed the website is run by Australian operators, but it does not host the illegal material.