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iPhone 5c unlock didn’t cost the FBI quite as much as reported

by Killian Bell | April 29, 2016April 29, 2016 4:23 am PST


The FBI didn’t spend quite as much as originally reported on its unlock for the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook. According to a new report citing “several U.S. government sources,” it actually cost under $1 million.

Last month, Reuters reported that the FBI paid more than $1.3 million to third-party hackers to get into Farook’s smartphone, which contained no valuable information after all. Now Reuters has been informed that the bureau actually paid “under $1 million.”

The report adds that the contractor used to gain access to this iPhone 5s is “so closely-held inside the FBI” that not even director James Comey knows who it is. The FBI is refusing to provide details to Apple, too, given that it could eliminate the exploit.

Although the FBI has previously stated that the data on Farook’s iPhone didn’t offer much, Reuters adds that the contents are still being examined, and the bureau hopes it can at least “help fill in the gaps in their investigation.”

The FBI is said to be most interested in finding out if Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik had any associates, and what the pair were doing during an 18-minute gap in the timeline investigators have pieced together since the shooting last December.


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...