Just how much did the FBI spend on the terrorist-owned iPhone 5c hack? Turns out – quite a lot
newer than the rather dated iPhone 5c is safe. There is also no word on how much the FBI had to shell out to get the hacking kit, but a recent statement, made by FBI Director James Comey at a security conference in London, may shed some light on this.
When asked how much the bureau paid the hackers, he replied “A lot, more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure. But it was in my view worth it.” This, of course, is in no way a direct response, but, assuming that the Director wasn't just making an offhand overstatement, some quick math may help us get an idea of the tool's price.
According to publicly available information, James Comey makes about $14,891 per month; multiplying that by 88 months (7 years + 4 months) gives us $1,310,408. And the Director said that the hackers were paid more than that. Ouch!
As for whether the investment bore any useful fruit – reports were a bit mixed. First, we learned that there was nothing of significance found on Farook's iPhone 5c. Then, the FBI said that the lack of information actually helps it scratch out a few assumptions and theories about the terrorist's activities during the day. But, let's be honest here, we'll never know.