FBI Paid More Than $1.3m to Hack San Bernardino iPhone

/ 2 years ago

The FBI, ‘forced’ to break the encryption on San Bernardino shooting suspect Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone itself following Apple’s refusal to compromise its security, paid more than $1.3 million to hack the phone in question, according to FBI Director James Comey.

Comey was asked by the moderator at the Aspen Security Forum in London earlier this week how much the FBI paid for the software it used to hack the phone. “A lot,” Comey replied. “More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months for sure. But it was, in my view, worth it.”

“Worth it,” despite the unlocked phone containing no data of value in regard to the San Bernardino shooting. However, the software will work to unlock any iPhone 5C running iOS 9 – of which there are approximately 10 million in the US, according to Reuters – unless Apple is able to discover and patch the vulnerability.

So, where does that $1.3m figure come from? According to FBI and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget figures, the annual salary of the FBI Director’s position is $183,300, not including bonuses. Multiply that figure by “seven years and four months” and we have our amount.

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