Sen. Dianne Feinstein let slip last week how much it cost the FBI to hire a third-party company to hack into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. The figure is considered classified information, as is the name of the company that performed the hack, but Feinstein is apparently not very good at keeping secrets.
Said she at the May 3 questioning of FBI director James Comey in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing:
“I was so struck when San Bernardino happened and you made overtures to allow that device to be opened, and then the FBI had to spend $900,000 to hack it open,” Feinstein said. “And as I subsequently learned of some of the reason for it, there were good reasons to get into that device.”
There you have it … $900,000.
You’ll recall that the FBI tangled with Apple early last year over access to the information on the iPhone 5c (I know, right?) of deceased San Bernardino terrorist, Syed Rizwan Farook. The FBI obtained all sorts of court orders to compel Apple to build back door access to the phone for the government, actions that Apple soundly condemned.
The feds eventually looked for another company to perform the hack, and they apparently found one to do it for a cool $900,000 smackaroos.
The FBI has yet to comment on the accuracy of Feinstein’s claim.