FBI spent more than $1 million to break into San Bernardino iPhone

Director James Comey suggests the FBI spent over $1.3 million to hack into the phone but says it was "worth it."

Lynn La
Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones

Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.

James Martin/CNET

During the Aspen Security Forum in London, FBI Director James Comey said the agency spent more money trying to break into an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters than he will make during the remainder of his term at the FBI.

Reuters crunched the numbers using figures from the US Office of Management and Budget and calculated that Comey is projected to earn about $1.34 million during the next seven years and four months. "It was, in my view, worth it," said Comey, according to Reuters.

After a drawn-out legal battle between the FBI and Apple, the government was able to unlock the iPhone 5C with the help of a third party. This led to the cancellation of a court hearing in March, which could have determined whether or not the US Department of Justice has the right to force Apple to open a phone.

This isn't the first time a hacking endeavor fetched a high price. Last year, the security company Zerodium put up a $1 million bounty for anyone who could remotely jailbreak Apple's recent mobile OS at the time, iOS 9.1/9.2b. It was finally claimed in November 2015.

Neither Apple nor the FBI immediately responded to a request for comment.