FBI paid Israeli co $900,000 for iPhone hack

Apple logo  photo: Reuters

The phone belonged to a San Bernadino terrorist who murdered 14 people.

The FBI investigation of a terrorist attack in San Bernadino made headlines worldwide. One reason was a dispute between the FBI and Apple Computers, which refused to help break through the lock on the terrorist's iPhone 5C. It has now been learned that the FBI paid a company $900,000 for breaking into the device.

This amazing payment was revealed in a US Senate hearing, after the FBI refused to disclose it to reporters. The FBI is still claiming that the exact price it paid is not a public matter, but California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who attended the press briefing about the affair, exposed it.

Feinstein actually believes that the price is fair, and that "...there were good reasons to get into that device." The iPhone 5C was in the possession of Syed Rizwan Farook, the terrorist, who murdered 14 people before being shot by police. The FBI initially demanded that Apple itself unlock the device, but after Apple refused, used the services of a private company into order to hack into the smartphone's operating system.

The matter was scheduled for a court hearing before the FBI withdrew its claim against Apple after the private cyber company succeeded in unlocking the iPhone.

While the FBI is unwilling to officially publish the name of the company to which it paid for the break-in, global media reports say that the company receiving the payment was Petah Tikva-based Cellebrite. Apple is claiming that its newer iPhone devices are not vulnerable to break-ins using the same method.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on May 11, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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Apple logo  photo: Reuters
Apple logo photo: Reuters
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