Senator says FBI spent $900,000 to hack San Bernardino iPhone

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hacking
We may finally know how much the FBI shelled out for answers.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Ever since the FBI got inside the iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorist shooter, there has been speculation over how much the hacking exercise cost the Feds.

A year later, we finally have an answer — and it’s a whole lot of cash, but maybe less than you thought it would be.

FBI says nobody should expect privacy in America

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"There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America," says FBI director James Comey.
Photo: CNN

FBI director James Comey has warned that we should not expect “absolute privacy” in America. His comments come just days after a WikiLeaks dump revealed the CIA’s incredible arsenal of malware and viruses used to spy on iPhones and other smart devices.

Speaking at a Boston College conference on cybersecurity this week, Comey said that while the government cannot invade our privacy without good reason, “there is no place outside of judicial reach.”

How much did FBI’s iPhone hack cost taxpayers?

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Hacking the iPhone 5c probably cost the FBI more than $1 million.
Hacking the iPhone 5c probably cost the FBI more than $1 million.
Photo: Apple

The FBI may soon be forced to reveal how much money it spent to hack into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5c last year.

FBI Director James Comey told the public that his agency paid “more than I will make in the remainder of this job” to unlock the device after Apple refused to help. Now a group of news organizations have asked a judge to force the government to show exactly how much it cost taxpayers.

From tiny innovations to big brawls, this is how Apple rolled in 2016

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Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac 2016 sent Apple for a wild ride full of fantastic new products, crazy controversies and tons of extra drama with its rivals.

Tim Cook and his colleagues probably can’t wait to jump into 2017. But before we start looking toward Apple’s future, let’s take a quick look back at all the stories that made 2016 a year Apple fans will never forget.

FBI promises more litigation in its anti-encryption vendetta

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iPhone hack
The FBI isn't backing down in its war on end-to-end encryption.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Fighting Apple may, according to some, have been the FBI’s worst PR disaster in history, but even its failure to convince Congress of its goals isn’t stopping its war on encryption — with FBI director James Comey telling reporters this week that more litigation can be expected as the feds seek to hack devices.

FBI paid a ton of money to unlock San Bernardino iPhone

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The next iPhone will have a huge battery.
The next iPhone will have a huge battery.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Getting into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone 5c was no cheap feat for the FBI.

The Department of Justice withdrew its demands that Apple unlock the terrorist’s iPhone after the FBI was approached by a third-party that had a method to hack the device. It turns out Cellebrite charged the FBI through the nose to access the information it wanted, but FBI director James Comey says it was totally worth it.

The feds still want Apple to help it hack an iPhone in New York

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iPhone will never be 100 percent hacker-proof.
iPhone will never be 100 percent hacker-proof.
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

The FBI dropped its case against Apple to hack the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, but the Department of Justice filed a new letter today demanding Apple help it unlock a different iPhone.

The iPhone in question belonged to meth deal Jun Feng in New York. Federal authorities believe the device may contain critical evidence and plan to appeal a ruling made by a magistrate judge in Brooklyn who decided the government can’t force Apple to hack its own device.

In its letter of appeal, the DoJ argues that because Apple helped prosecutors unlock at least 70 iPhones in the past, the company should do it again.

FBI reveals unlocking tool doesn’t work on iPhone 5s and higher

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iPhone will never be 100 percent hacker-proof.
iPhone will never be 100 percent hacker-proof.
Photo: Sam Mills/Cult of Mac

The iPhone unlocking tool used by the FBI to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5c can only be used on “a narrow slice of phones” the agency admitted.

FBI director James Comey revealed that litigation between Apple and the federal government has ended, but the tool the agency purchased to unlock the device does not work on the iPhone 5s or newer iPhones, including the iPhone SE.

FBI cracks San Bernardino iPhone without Apple’s help

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That iPhone in your pocket is much more well-traveled than you are.
The FBI didn't need Apple's help after all.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Department of Justice has removed all legal action against Apple after the FBI successfully hacked the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone without assistance from Cupertino.

Apple and the FBI have been fighting a very public legal battle over whether the government can force the iPhone-maker to create a backdoor into iOS. Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly defied a federal court order to deliberately weaken iOS security for millions of users, but it appears that the feds are backing down — at least for now.

Counterterrorism expert says FBI isn’t being honest about iPhone hacking

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Your iPhone will always need to be recharged everyday.
The FBI isn't really trying to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The guy that warned George Bush about an imminent al-Qaida attack before 9/11 is taking Apple’s side in the company’s fight against the FBI over whether it can be compelled to break into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone.

Richard Clarke, who served as the senior counterterrorism official in the US for nine years, sat down for an interview this morning regarding encryption and the FBI’s efforts to hack the iPhone. Despite FBI Director James Comey’s insistence that the FBI has tried everything, Clarke says all it would take to hack the device is a call to Fort Meade.