Details have emerged which give a clue as to how much the FBI paid for the outside hacker who managed to give them access to Syed Farook’s iPhone. The bureau’s director, James B. Comey said the FBI paid more than $1 million to the unidentified third party.
The director was speaking in London, at a security forum. In his revelation of the price, Comey said the cost of the break in into the iPhone was more than the total he was going to earn in the remaining seven years of his 10-year tenure as the director of the FBI. He earns around $183,000 a year. Comey said,
We paid a lot. But it was worth it.
The identity of the third party helper still remains a secret, though. Details of what the law enforcement agency found on the phone owned by Syed Farook, who killed 14 people last December in San Bernardino, California, have emerged. An official with the FBI said there was no significant finding in the phone.
The Justice of Department managed to obtain a court order which compelled Apple to give the agency a back door to the phone which could then help investigators. The DoJ wanted Apple to create a security bypass that would not make the phone lose all its content. Apple refused the order and the battle after has gone on to ignite a heated debate about encryption between the DoJ and other law enforcing agencies and officials and the private technology sector and major tech companies about keeping private data private.
The FBI, however, all of a sudden dropped the case hours before they were going to go to court after being approached by the anonymous third party who had found a way in without Apple’s help. Comey credited the attention that the case brought into pushing outside groups to try and offer the FBI a solution.
He, however, stressed that relying on the strategy for long term solutions was not viable. He was speaking at an Aspen Institute hosted forum.