WASHINGTON (UPI) — The FBI paid more than $1 million to get the tool that hacked into the phone of the San Bernardino attackers, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday.
Comey made the revelation during an on-stage interview at the Aspen Security Forum in London. Without saying the actual amount, he implied it, giving the attendees only a mathematical equation.
The FBI has said it paid an unnamed party outside of the government to provide the tool — whether software or hardware — to unlock the phone of Syed Farook, who along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in December in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.
Bringing in the third party ended the FBI’s months long battle with Apple, who refused to comply with a judge’s order to hack the security system of their iPhone 5C.
During the interview, Comey was asked how much the FBI paid for the tool.
“A lot,” Comey said. “But it was worth it.”
But when asked about the amount, Comey only said “More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months.”
Mathematically, it works out to at least $1.26 million.
Despite that, Comey told the audience relying on that strategy in the future would not be a good idea.
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