Billy Corgan Reveals Working With FBI After Smashing Pumpkins Got Hacked
In a recent interview with Audacy’s Klein Ally Show, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan opened up about the band’s songs leaking before their official release and revealed that they had to work with the FBI to address the situation.
The Smashing Pumpkins released their latest record, ATUM, in three separate installments of 11 songs each. Atum: Act One came out on November 15, 2022, followed by Atum: Act Two on January 31, 2023, and Atum: Act Three on May 5, 2023. During the interview, Corgan disclosed that a hacker had accessed nine of the album’s songs about six months ago, right when they were in the final stages of mixing and mastering. The hacker threatened to leak the catchiest tracks and demanded a ransom for their return.
Corgan went on to explain that he paid the ransom out of his own pocket to prevent the songs from leaking. The FBI then became involved in the case, launching an investigation into the hacking incident. While the authorities managed to stop the leak from happening, Corgan emphasized that the situation was far from ideal.
“Somehow, some hacker was offering the files for money, and we were able to trace it, and pay off, and keep it from leaking and the FBI got involved. [The payment came] out of my pocket, unfortunately.
They strangely had stuff… I don’t know how they got what they got. What we were able to do was stop the leak from happening. It was a mercenary person who would hack somebody, they had stuff from other artists. It wasn’t some Pumpkins fan and somehow they gave some information that allowed the FBI to track them.
I don’t know the end result of it yet. They had stuff that was shocking to me, classic stuff from bands in the past probably doing re-issues. I don’t think any of that stuff’s leaked out, so whatever happened it all got shut down.“
Despite the tense circumstances surrounding the hack, the songs were not ultimately leaked, and the Smashing Pumpkins were able to continue releasing their album as planned. Corgan has expressed that he remains uncertain about what ultimately happened to the hacker, but is grateful that the situation was brought under control. With Part 3 of the album successfully released, fans can now enjoy the complete ATUM experience, knowing that the band and the authorities did everything they could to protect their work.