It has been revealed that Nokia lost millions of euros to blackmailers who threatened to sabotage its smartphone operating system.
It has been claimed that the blackmailers managed to obtain the security encryption key for a vital component of the Nokia’s Symbian software and threatened to make it public if their demands weren’t met. If the security encryption key had been made public, anyone could have written additional code for the Symbian software which could have included malware.
Malware is malicious software that is used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems.
After Nokia received the demands from the blackmailers, the police were contacted. It was decided that Nokia would pay the ransom fee and left millions of euros in a car park with the police looking on. The operation soon went wrong as the blackmailers managed to lose the police tail after collecting the money and are still at large.
This incident occurred in 2008 but has only just been made public.
Detective Chief Inspector Tero Haapala from Finland’s police service confirmed that they are investigating the case and that Nokia is the company involved.
Haapala stated, “We are investigating felony blackmail, with Nokia the injured party.”
Since this incident, there has been a large scale of change at Nokia as they now utilise Microsoft’s Windows software for its smartphones and its phone arm has been sold to Microsoft.
Jon French who is a senior security analyst for AppRiver believes that ransom money should never be paid as it only encourages other cybercriminals to target such corporations.
French stated, “Paying can only further show other hackers that they have a chance of making a lot of money from these corporations. Nokia seems to have gotten incredibly lucky that the hacker didn’t release the key anyways.”
It is now critical that all companies ensure that they have the best security plan in place and regularly test it to help protect themselves against the threat of cyber hackers and cyber thieves. This should be supported with a robust backup solution to ensure that data can always be recovered no matter what action a hacker or cyber thieves takes such as modifying or deleting the data.