Here’s how much the FBI is paying Cellebrite for its iPhone hack

“For the time being, Apple’s legal battle with the FBI appears to be on hold,” Yoni Heisler reports for BGR.

“Though the FBI had previously demanded Apple write a completely new version of iOS to bypass built-in security measures, the FBI earlier this week indicated that they may have found a way into the locked iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists without Apple’s help,” Heisler reports. “The FBI hasn’t officially confirmed it, but it’s become plainly evident that the Bureau has enlisted the help of an Israeli software forensics company called Cellebrite.”

Heisler reports, “Originally spotted by Twitter user Zen Albatross, the FBI this past Monday signed a $15,278 contract with Cellebrite.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Cheap.

But, the FBI knew this avenue was available anyway, of course. FBI Director James Comey claims they didn’t, but that makes him a liar or an idiot or, in light of his laughably ham-handed quest to never let a crisis go to waste, most likely both.

Meet Cellebrite, the Israeli company reportedly cracking iPhones for the FBI – March 24, 2016
ACLU complains of Michigan State police scanning iPhones during routine traffic stops – April 20, 2011

MacDailyNews Note: Today is Good Friday. As such, the U.S. financial markets are closed for the day and posting will be less frequent today.


    1. Exactly.

      You have to understand how government contracts work. Chances are, that is just the beginning of multiple contracts.

      As I posted before, they will get paid if they succeed or not and it won’t be cheap and will drag on for months and possibly years.

    2. What ever it costs it will be a fraction of what the DOj and Apple spent on this issue.

      BTW – the relationship between the FBI and Cellebrite has been going on for some time. It is not like the FBI was just contacted by Cellebrite last Sunday for the first time as the FBI implied. Below is the 2013 “Notice of Intent to Sole Source” document regarding the FBI and Cellebrite.

      It is my understanding that Cellebrite is the gold standard for this type of work and that the FBI would have had to know about them regardless.

  1. Surely the first recourse for unlocking the iPhone would be the NSA with their vast resources, not some foreign commercial outfit for $15K. It is Risible.

    1. Maybe the NSA told celebrite how to do it because they’ve been doing it for years. It’s less embarrassing and revealing to the American people. Just a thought.

  2. If J. Edgar Hoover had an iPhone, would he have wanted the FBI able to crack it and see his private photos with Clyde Tolson?

    Maybe the FBI really wants their private access to iPhones because they have in mind the same blackmailing Hoover did to American presidents.

  3. …the FBI this past Monday signed a $15,278 contract with Cellebrite.

    Which will turn out to be a total waste of money. The phone will prove to be irrelevant to the case, IMHO. This was all about the FBI blunderingly setting a precedent, which at this point was a FAIL. The side effect, meanwhile, has been to consolidate technology company efforts to keep government surveillance maniacs off their backs and to provide customers with even better end-to-end encryption systems.

    Oops. Back blast. FBI: Black eye. Well deserved.

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