Home / National News / FBI Paid More Than $1 Million for Help Hacking San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone


(LONDON) — The price tag for help hacking into the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters was more than $1 million, according to an answer FBI Director James Comey gave today when discussing the high profile encryption case.

At the Aspen forum in London, Comey was asked by interviewer Brooke Masters of the Financial Times how much the agency paid to get into the phone.

The iPhone 5c used by Syed Farook did not contain any identities of suspected co-conspirators or overseas contacts that investigators believe may be related to the attacks, law enforcement sources previously told ABC News.

Comey’s response was indirect but the first major hint he’s given about how much the FBI paid to the unidentified third party who came forward to help unlock the phone as the Justice Department waged a contentious legal battle with Apple.

“More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure,” Comey said.

The FBI director was sworn into office on Sept. 4, 2013. The FBI director, by law, is appointed for a 10-year term. According to the FBI, director’s salary is set at approximately $183,000, which if multiplied by 7 years and 4 months comes to $1.342 million.

One month after federal officials dropped their court case against Apple, the method to access the iPhone 5c and the identity of the third party who helped are still unknown. Comey said earlier this month the tool purchased from a private party and used to access Syed Farook’s iPhone only works on a “narrow slice” of phones, such as the iPhone 5c running iOS 9.

Apple has been staunch in its position that creating a backdoor for government officials would undermine the security of millions of users.

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