Senator Dianne Feinstein confirms that the FBI Payed $900,000 to unlock San Bernardino iPhone
Following a terrorist attack in San Bernardino in early 2016, there was a huge discussion about the legality and implications of the FBI requesting Apple, the mobile device manufacturer, to unencrypt or ‘crack’ an iPhone 5C during the investigation. Apple refused and held firm to their decision in not creating a backdoor piece of software that would surpass the security protections put in place on their iOS stating concerns for the privacy of millions of different users of the iPhone and iPad product.
While working directly with the manufacturer no longer became a viable option, the FBI contacted another entity whom cracked the iPhone in question granting the FBI access. While the specific cost associated was never released, recently Senator Dianne Feinstein revealed that it actually cost $900,000 to obtain access.
Some may recall that the initial estimate was over one million dollars, guessed to be at $1.3 Million based upon the comments from FBI Director James Comey when he said that the cost to the FBI was greater that what he’d make in the seven years prior to his retirement. Although Reuters did the math based upon his publicized salary, that figure was not accurate.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Senator Feinstein had stated that the $900,000 cost was associated with the access granted to the terrorists 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 was quoted saying by the AP. Feinstein is the top Democrate on the Senate committee that oversees the FBI.
Prior to her statement, the FBI has refued to give any information on how much it cost, the technology used or the company utilized to break into the iPhone.