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Symbian encryption keys were once held for ransom, Nokia paid millions

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Symbian encryption keys were once held for ransom, Nokia paid millions
Long before the era of Windows Phone, or even the iPhone, Nokia was king of the mobile phone industry as a whole, and more than half of the smartphone market on top of that.

Nokia’s smartphones were run by the Symbian operating system. In 2007, during the time when Nokia was offering devices like the E61i, and the N95, a blackmailer managed to acquire the encryption key to the operating system, a file only a few kilobytes in size.

How the code was acquired has not been revealed, but the blackmailer extorted Nokia for millions of euros on the threat of releasing the key in the open. If that had happened, there would have been no way for Nokia to guarantee that the devices in use would be not be subject for non-approved applications finding their way on the handsets.

Nokia paid the demanded ransom, for which the blackmailer promised that the keys would not be used improperly. Of course, the payment was made after the authorities were alerted, so when Nokia delivered the bag of cash in Tampere, Finland, law enforcement intended to follow whomever made the pick-up. Unfortunately, the perpetrator gave them the slip and escaped with the cash. The case is still open and unsolved.

sources: Reuters and MTV News via Engadget

11 Comments
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posted on 17 Jun 2014, 23:09 5

1. skyline88 (Posts: 342; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


wow.

just WOW.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 23:13 4

2. a_tumiwa (Posts: 293; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


the story is like a movie story

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 23:35 9

3. Anonn (Posts: 88; Member since: 04 Jun 2014)


That was stephen elop. Will not reveal anything more !!

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 23:48 1

4. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3583; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


No doubt, symbian was insecure and laggy OS, even though it was functional for its time.

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 00:04 3

6. ihavenoname (Posts: 1499; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


That's so true. I had iPod Touch and Symbian phone at the same time and iOS was just decades ahead of it. So much smoother, faster, more responsive, better looking, more polished, better app store, better working and looking default apps, better security etc. Though Symbian was pretty functional and you could customize it with themes, it was a pretty crappy OS and only reason to have it was (suprise) Nokia hardware.

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 00:25 1

7. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3583; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


+1 Sir, I have the N70 lying in my drawer, Its still rock Solid, but it is seriously laggy(opening the app launcher takes 2 seconds), but even back then it had multitasking which was amazing for 2007.

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 06:14 1

9. tasior (Posts: 248; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)


I have old Nokia N97 mini (433Mhz 128 mb ram), and it works much faster, than my old Xperia mini pro (1ghz, 512ram). Back then hardware specs were much lower, so no wonder it wasn't fluid.

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 23:53

5. ihavenoname (Posts: 1499; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


I just read the same article from Finnish news. The police failed pretty badly, the bag was left to parking lot of a big Finnish amusement park and "something went badly wrong" so the guy ran away with money.

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 02:12

8. tatail (Posts: 215; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


If in fact this is true then +1 to the BlackMailer at least he/she kept his/her word and not released the encryption key in the open.

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 06:18

10. o0Exia0o (Posts: 428; Member since: 01 Feb 2013)


Maybe now would be the time to release the encription key file to the dev community so they could keep symbian alive for a while longer. Just a thought.

posted on 18 Jun 2014, 07:20

11. Darkerm (Posts: 194; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


I lost count of how many symbian device I used and boy I still love Symbian. The experience I had with this Awesome OS will always remember it till the end. :')

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