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

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,446
8,513



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.

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.

Article Link: FBI Paid Upwards of $1.3 Million to Unlock San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone
 
  • Like
Reactions: OttawaGuy

warrior2000

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2015
916
445
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.
 

dkh587

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2009
210
51
America is being swamped by debt and the FBI pay over a million dollars to unlock a ****ing phone?
Surely you don't think the FBI and government care about money and how much they blow, do you?

Our debt is all the proof that we need to see that Washington cares absolutely nothing about blowing money that we don't have on everything we don't need
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,224
3,360
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.
I am really shocked by this too, but then again it is the government.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,142
1,804
Between the coasts
Does the absence of info on the device suggest, "...he and his wife did not have assistance from friends or family members?" No. The absence of information is not proof. It's just as likely that they understood they would implicate their helpers if they communicated with them by these means.

I'm not saying they did have helpers. I believe that there are far fewer conspiracies than many people prefer to believe. People who hatch plots of this sort understand the dangers in confiding in too many people.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tooloud10 and jjm3

bilibug

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2008
248
132
Stockton NJ
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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_United_States

"Since 2001, the president has earned a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment."
 
  • Like
Reactions: vmistery

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
6,934
12,449
In between a rock and a hard place
I am really shocked by this too, but then again it is the government.
Not sure why this would surprise anyone. The presidents salary is $400K. Of course, there are perks and bonuses, but government service is not an occupation where people go to get rich.

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.
People in government jobs usually have a different motivation than money. Sometimes it's security of a steady job and benefits, genuine desire to serve the country, or access to unrestricted funds/info for malfeasance. And some.... some just want to contribute to the chaos... they just want to see the world burn (angrily standing in a mile long line while staring at TSA agent on a smoke break.)

Any number of reasons really.
 
Last edited:

maxsix

Suspended
Jun 28, 2015
3,102
3,683
Western Hemisphere
Surely you don't think the FBI and government care about money and how much they blow, do you?

Our debt is all the proof that we need to see that Washington cares absolutely nothing about blowing money that we don't have on everything we don't need
Hussein has set a clear example that taxpayer money is to be spent freely in staggering amounts. Influenced by his hip hop friends like Jay-Z and Beyonce, Snoop and Suge, it's a ballers life for the prez.