FBI paid a bomb to hack into Apple iPhone

By : |April 22, 2016 0

FBI paid a ‘bomb’ to hack into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. FBI Director James Comey said the U.S. paid more than he will make in salary over the rest of his term to secure a hacking tool to break into a mobile phone used by a dead terrorist in the San Bernardino, California, attack last year.

The hack ended organisation’s dispute with Apple Inc. over accessing mobile phones with increasingly sophisticated encryption software that is stymieing law enforcement officials across the U.S. The law enforcement agency paid “more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is 7 years and 4 months,” Comey said on Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum in London. “It was, in my view, worth it.”

According to federal salary tables, Comey’s income this year is $185,100, indicating that the tool cost the agency more than $1.3 million.

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However, the hack into gunman Syed RizwanFarook’s iPhone 5c doesn’t resolve the agency’s other conflicts with Apple and the broader technology community over privacy and encryption.

Amy Hess, the bureau’s executive assistant director for science and technology says that the FBI confiscated nearly 4,000 phones of all makes from October through March, of which 13 percent had encrypted data that couldn’t be accessed. The agency has said the tool it bought in the San Bernardino case, from an entity it hasn’t disclosed, probably won’t work on newer iPhones.

The FBI is still suing Apple in a court in Brooklyn, New York, in an unrelated case to break into a phone used by a drug dealer andComey said he expects more litigation to obtain data on phones.

Also, FBI head doesn’t see hacking as a viable long-term strategy because it costs “tons of money” and can’t be used by all law enforcement agencies in the U.S. It “would be a regrettable place to be” to have to rely on hacking phones, Comey said. “It’s not scalable,” he said. “This problem is overwhelmingly affecting law enforcement. There are 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States.”

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