In order to hack into the iPhone 5c unit it was investigating, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) paid less than a million dollars, according to a report published by Reuters just this week. Although still a considerable amount, the $1 million figure was markedly less than what various industry watchers have speculated.
As stated by James Comey, the Director of the FBI, the previous week, the feds had to expend more cash than Comey was expecting to earn over the remaining period of his term as the head of the government agency. Many observers have attempted to provide a ballpark figure, which would be around $1.3 million.
The FBI had acquired the mobile software hack from an unnamed security services company, and this hack can be freely utilized by the feds in trying to gain access to other iPhone 5c units, especially those that are powered by the newest version of iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system. Interestingly, even though the FBI can leverage this hack for future investigations, the government agency does not fully understand how the software mechanism works.
The FBI feels that it has already disclosed everything it needed to regarding the software hack through publicly released official statements. But for those who need a more detailed explanation of the government agency’s stand on the subject, they are free to pay a visit to a web page called Going Dark Issue found in the FBI’s official website.
It is safe to say that just about everybody already knows the circumstances leading to the FBI’s acquisition of the software hack. After Apple declined to accept the government agency’s request to set up a backdoor to bypass the encrypted software present in iPhone devices (despite having been slapped with a court order), the FBI was forced to look to a third party in order to get some assistance in gaining access to the iPhone 5c unit being investigated.
In refusing the FBI’s request, Apple had argued that it was impossible for the iPhone maker to work around its own protective encryption measures. Moreover, the tech giant emphasized that creating a backdoor hack is tantamount to building a key that would allow unauthorized access to all iPhone devices, especially if it falls in the wrong hands.
About a fortnight ago, Apple had released a transparency report. In that report, the company claims that during the last two quarters of 2015, it had actually complied with about 80 percent of requests made by the United States government. Apple seems to say through this transparency report that it was not out to consciously refuse every request from the authorities, but merely providing help whenever it can reasonably.
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