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Nokia was blackmailed into paying millions to criminals back in 2008

The criminals acquired the encryption key for a core part of Nokia’s Symbian software, and threatened to make it public if their demands weren’t met.

Image: Diane Bondareff/AP/Press Association Images

NOKIA WAS FORCED to pay several million euro to criminals who had threatened to leak the source code that was used in its phones six years ago.

The Finnish police told local TV station MTV that it was investigating the case, which happened in 2008, and that the case was still open.

According to Reuters, the blackmailers had acquired the encryption key for a core part of Nokia’s Symbian software and threatened to make it public.

If this happened, it would have allowed anyone to write additional code for the operating system, including possible malware which would have been indistinguishable from the actual software.

Nokia agreed to deliver the cash to a parking lot for collection, but not before it notified the police about the situation. However, while the money was picked up, the police lost track of the criminals after it happened.

At the time, Symbian’s market share was roughly 50% as the software was used by a number of manufacturers. Nokia later replaced Symbian with Windows Phone in 2011 when it launched its Lumia smartphone range.

Nokia’s mobile phone business was bought by Microsoft earlier this year for €5.4 billion. When the deal was completed, Microsoft said that it would help “accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones.”

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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