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Nokia paid millions of euros to software blackmailers

It emerged today that Nokia paid out an unspecified sum - known only to be "several million euros" - to blackmailers who had threatened to publish the source code for its Symbian operating system in 2008. 

Finnish television station MTV revealed that the criminals had obtained an encryption key for a core component of the Symbian OS and said that they would make it public unless the company paid up. According to MTV, the publication of this code would have allowed anyone to write malware for Symbian which would be 'indistinguishable' from the OS itself. 

Finnish police today confirmed this to Reuters, and added that, six years on, the case remained open and under investigation. "We are investigating felony blackmail, with Nokia the injured party," said Detective Chief Inspector Tero Haapala, but no further information about the circumstances of the case were revealed.

MTV said that Nokia contacted authorities in 2008 to report the extortion threat. It delivered the money as instructed to a parking lot in Tampere, Finland, where it was picked up, but police lost track of the blackmailers, who have evaded capture ever since. 

Source: Reuters 

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