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Nokia Confirms N-Gage Codes Cracked

Just as Nokia Corp. announced the addition of two new security companies to its developers alliance, the Finnish cellphone maker confirmed that the security schema for its new wireless gaming platform has been compromised by hackers.

Nokia only debuted the new N-Gage game phone last month. But press reports have already surfaced that the copy protection codes have been cracked leading to the illegal copying of video games for the device.

"We've investigated rumors that the copy protections for the Nokia N-Gage game cards have been cracked. We have found that some of the copy protection mechanisms of some game titles have been disabled and the game titles have been disabled and the games available for download on various Web sites," said Steven Knuff, a spokesman for Nokia.

The company confirmed to internetnews.com that it will try to track down the perpetrators of the theft of its software protection codes. The crack apparently detects encrypted games stored in the root directory of a memory card; then decrypts the files onto the card; and then adds the game in the handset's application launcher.

"We take these types of intellectual property offenses very seriously and we have initiated a program to stop individuals, and or entities that are behind these IP violations. Nokia will cooperate with ISP's, auction sites and the relevant authorities to pursue all actions and remedies available to stop this illegal activity," Knuff told internetnews.com.

Nokia's N-Gage allows for mobile multiplayer game play on a tri-band phone, which supports Bluetooth wireless networking and also contains an MP3 player and an FM radio. In fact, Nokia has high hopes for the device to drive sales and challenge Nintendo's Gameboy Advance.

Meanwhile, the company continues to advance its security initiatives elsewhere. Nokia has added two enterprise partners, nCircle and Websense, to the Nokia Security Developers Alliance.

nCircle is in the business of providing a vulnerability management system, which assists in the security of IP network devices. Websense makes filtering software that assists in the analysis, management and reporting of employee Internet access, network activity, software applications usage and the utilization of bandwidth.

Together, the companies hope to bring solutions to Nokia's network integrity and secure connectivity appliances. The two new companies along with other members of Nokia's Developers Alliance have access to the company's SDK for Nokia's secure Operating System. Other companies with sanctioned-secure enterprise solutions for the Nokia Developers Alliance include BMC Software , HP , Fishnet Security, ForeScout Technologies, netForensics, Open Service, Permeo Technologies, SurfControl and Tripwire.

NCircle said its IP360 Vulnerability Management solution "automatically scans and profiles a customer's network to find and eliminate network vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. The porting process delivers a truly interoperable solution offering rapid deployment, ease of configuration and the highest level of performance and availability."

Websense specializes in providing employee Internet management solutions and said "Websense Enterprise combined with Nokia IP security appliances empower businesses to detect and manage employee access to the Internet and other network-based applications such as instant messaging, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing and streaming media."