Feeds

Microsoft disowns Nokia cybersquatting prank

Where do you want to be redirected to today?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

Microsoft has blamed a lone, crazed cybersquatter for hijacking Nokia-related domains and diverting them to The Beast's own rival PocketPC website.

The prank works like this. Type www.series60.com into your browser - that's as in Series 60, the name of the software platform for Symbian smartphones that Nokia launched at Comdex - and you'll find yourself magically transported to www.microsoft.com/mobile, where you can read all about The Microsoft® Smartphone Software Solution, which offers both voice and rich wireless data capa[that's enough - ed.].

Yesterday Redmond told us that it was the work of a single cybersquatter, acting alone:-

"Microsoft definitely doesn't relate to this domain in any way, and doesn't condone these pranks," a spokesperson told us.

The Series 60 domain was registered on 15 November, two days after Nokia made its landmark Open Mobile Architecture (OMA) announcement at Comdex.

"It's funny!" a Nokia spokesperson told us, his grimace almost visible over a crackly GSM link to Helsinki*.

"All of Nokia's website branding falls under the xxx.nokia.com domain," he said, "in order to maintain consistency in our customer experience." And no, Nokia wouldn't be taking action.

Lone gunman

So who's the perpetrator? The Series 60 domain is registered to the InterCosmos Media Group, a Louisiana-based TLD registrar, which owns the DirectNIC registrar. Calls to DirectNIC to reveal the identity of the real domain holder have so far been unsuccessful.

For good measure, the prankster also registered Series 20, Series 40 and Series 80 domains on December 3rd using a bogus name and address. In fact the applicant successfully filed all three domains under the name "First Name Last Name", which suggests that DirectNICs auditing procedures are a little less than razor-sharp this week.

Of course we didn't suspect for a moment that Microsoft - the world's most successful software company and a technology industry ambassador feted by heads of state - would stoop to such peevish and childish behaviour. Uh, did we?

Then we remembered the transcript of a press conference Microsoft held in October last year in London, featuring veeps Juha Christensen and Ben Waldman, the two Microsoft execs most in need of earplugs this evening.

Christensen had been poached from Symbian - Microsoft's public enemy number one - and had been instrumental in creating the Symbian consortium, which is the cellphone industry's bedrock OS for fancy next-generation phones.
As we recall, each time Waldman or Christensen mentioned the word Symbian, the microphone mysteriously stopped working, with the S-- word replaced in the transcript by (inaudible). It's the love that dare not speak its name...

That's when we decided to call Redmond, so they could confirm something we already knew, and dismiss something that we hadn't even thought of.

So the hunt continues for the identity of the Series 60 prankster. Is he alone, or working with an accomplice firing Nokia-related domain names from the book repository? We hope to have this cleared up real soon now. ®

*This might be explained by the fact that today is Independence Day in Finland - and many happy returns to our Finnish readers. We'll be celebrating by watching Aki Kaurismaki's Ariel for the first time, a video of which has just come our way. When the going gets tacky, you need Aki...

Completely Unrelated Stories

Microsoft declares war on '(inaudible)'
Gates rails at 'proprietary Symbian', looks for the insanity defence

Can Club Nokia thwart .NET?

Nokia takes charge at Symbian
Nokia touts Sony alliance, licenses phone apps

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.