The FBI paid $900,000USD for the San Bernardino iPhone hack

Apple / iOS / Mobile / Security / Tech
iPhone hack

The amount the FBI paid to have the iPhone hacked was supposed to remain classified.

I think we all remember the tragedy that is the San Bernardino shootings and we also remember the subsequent FBI investigation into them. The buzz around the investigation centered around a single locked iPhone and the FBI’s desire to acquire an iPhone hack to access it. The FBI contacted Apple, who complied with FBI requests as far as the law allowed them, who refused to provide an iPhone hack to access the whole device. After Apple refused to supply a method for accessing the iPhone, the FBI tried to bring the matter to court, but before that whole process went through, the FBI found a third-party to crack the phone.

The FBI has made some of the information from the case classified, including how much money the Bureau paid for that iPhone hack. Well, thanks to Senator Dianne Feinstein, we now know just how much that service cost the FBI. $900,000USD was the final cost to getting the information contained on that locked iPhone.

“I was so struck when San Bernardino happened and you made overtures to allow that device to be opened, and then the FBI had to spend $900,000 to hack it open,” Feinstein said. “And as I subsequently learned of some of the reason for it, there were good reasons to get into that device.”

The AP and other news organizations last year filed a public records lawsuit to learn how much the FBI paid. The Justice Department has said in court filings that the information was properly classified. It argued that the information it withheld if released could be seized upon by “hostile entities” that could develop their own countermeasures and interfere with the FBI’s intelligence gathering.

In the end, it probably was cheaper to pay the third-party company the $900,000USD than it would have been to battle Apple in court.

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  Source: CNBC
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