FBI ‘paid more than $1m’ to hack into San Bernardino killer’s iPhone

The FBI paid more than $1 million to hackers to break into the locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers, its boss has hinted. The money handed to an unidentified third-party was more than he would earn in his remaining seven years as FBI director, said James Comey, who earns $183,000 per year. But the payment was “worth it”, Mr Corney told an Aspen Security Forum event in London.

(We paid) more than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure

FBI director James Corney

U.S. officials revealed last month that an outside party had approached it with a method to hack into the phone used by Syed Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people at a party in December last year before dying in a police shootout. It came after Apple refused to help, sparking a court case with wide-reaching implications on digital security and privacy. Mr Comey said the litigation in the case had inspired a “marketplace around the world” for people to break into Apple phones. But he added: "Litigation is not a great place to resolve hard values questions that implicate all kinds of things that all of us care about.“

Somebody approached us from outside of the government and said, 'We think we’ve come up with a solution. And we tested and tested and tested it, and then we purchased it.

Mr Corney