FBI Paid Upwards of $1.3 Million to Unlock San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

United States Federal Bureau of Investigations Director James Comey today gave some hints on how much the agency paid to access the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, suggesting a sum upwards of $1.3 million.

According to Reuters, Comey said the FBI paid an amount exceeding what he will make in the next seven years and four months as director of the FBI. Comey's annual salary is at $183,300, and without raises or bonuses, will result in earnings of $1.34 million.

iphone5c-header

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in London, Comey was asked by a moderator how much the FBI paid for the software that eventually broke into the iPhone.

"A lot. More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months for sure," Comey said. "But it was, in my view, worth it."

According to anonymous law enforcement officials, Farook's iPhone did not contain contacts or messages resulting in new leads in the investigation, but it did clarify that Farook did not make contact with a third-party following the attack, suggesting he and his wife did not have assistance from friends or family members.

The FBI reportedly paid the sum in question to "professional hackers," at least one of which is a "gray hat" researcher that sells security flaws to governments, black market groups, and companies creating surveillance tools.

The method used to gain entry to the iPhone 5c owned by Farook does not work on the iPhone 5s or newer, but the FBI can continue to use it to access iPhone 5c devices running iOS 9.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

DipDog3 Avatar
62 months ago
What a waste of my tax dollars...
Score: 90 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZacNicholson Avatar
62 months ago
The government and government agencies love to waste money on stupid stuff.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cableguy84 Avatar
62 months ago
America is being swamped by debt and the FBI pay over a million dollars to unlock a ****ing phone?
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
griz Avatar
62 months ago

America is being swamped by debt and the FBI pay over a million dollars to unlock a ****ing phone?

They probably paid a lot more than that in legal fees to threaten Apple.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diddl14 Avatar
62 months ago
What a great deal for the hacker...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
warrior2000 Avatar
62 months ago
The head of the FBI only makes $183,000?

I mean WTF. No wonder the FBI is so clueless. Any one with great talent will refuse to work for so little money to take such a dangerous and burdensome job.

The head of the FBI should be raking in a couple million at least. That way they can get some talent in the building at least.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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