Nokia paid millions to hackers six years ago due to a blackmail incident

Posted Jun 18, 2014

Nokia apparently paid millions of dollars to hackers six years ago after being threatened. Police are investigating the case of the alleged blackmail and said that the case is still open, according to Reuters.

“We are investigating felony blackmail, with Nokia the injured party,” stated Detective Chief Inspector Tero Haapala.

The blackmailers acquired the encryption key that is a core part of Nokia’s Symbian software and threatened to make it public. If the encryption key was leaked, anyone could have written additional code for Symbian — including malware. The malware would be indistinguishable from the legitimate part of the software.

Nokia contacted the police after the blackmail attempt and agreed to deliver the cash to a parking lot in Tampere, central Finland. The money was picked up, but the police lost track of the culprits.

Nokia ended up using Microsoft Windows software in its smartphones. Microsoft recently acquired Nokia’s mobile phone business earlier this year for 5.6 billion euros ($7.6 billion).

[Source: Reuters]