FBI paid more than $1.3 million for San Bernardino iPhone hack

By , Apr 21, 2016

iOS 7 teaser (iPhone 5c ad 010)

FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday that the agency paid more to break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone than he’ll make in the remaining 7+ years of his tenure. Reuters crunched the numbers, and that suggests that the FBI paid more than $1.3 million for the hack.

That seems like a lot of money for a tool that doesn’t work on the iPhone 5s or newer, but  speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in London today, the Director said that he believes it was worth it. And of course the FBI will be able to use the tool in other case involving older iPhones.

For those who haven’t been following the story, the FBI won a court order to force Apple to help them unlock an iPhone 5c belonging to one of the shooters of last year’s San Bernardino attacks. Apple refused the order, sparking a high profile debate on encryption and user privacy.

In March, the FBI announced that it had broken into the phone and withdrew its case against Apple. It’s believed that the Bureau received help from the Israeli-based firm Cellebrite, and based on Comey’s comments today, the bounty is among the highest ever publicized for hacking.

Source: Reuters


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  • Rodney Coleman
  • Digitalfeind

    I thought his salary would be more than what it is. At least $230,000.

  • iByron

    My understanding is they didn’t find anything either.

    • Mark S

      Says who?

      • Says common sense. It was a work iPhone, you’d have to be the dumbest criminal / terrorist in the world to go around committing inexcusable acts and publicising or recording it using your work phone.

      • M_Hawke

        Various news outlets reported it.

  • Blip dude


  • Alex Wilson

    Once again failed by the US Government, way to go FBI. That 1.3million that could be been used for something better. Sadly nothing new and nothing surprising at all.

    • jgethro

      They could have given it to a charity for starving kids. Wink wink!

  • M_Hawke

    Aaaaaand….they got NOTHING. Our taxes hard at work.

  • What happened to the promise of “just this once, we won’t use it on other phones”?

  • Rowan09

    Yet some people wonder about the rise of Donald Trump. People are fed up with what’s going on and would go extremely left to see what they can do.

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      Trump is anything but left. I think you mean extremely right.

      • Rowan09


  • lol waste my money