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FBI paid under $US1 million to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone

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The FBI had paid under $US1 for the technique used to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen— a figure smaller than the $US1.3 million the agency’s chief initially indicated the hack cost, several US Government sources say.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will be able to use the technique to unlock other iPhone 5C models running iOS 9 – the specifications of the shooter’s phone – without additional payment to the contractor who provided it, these people added.

A week ago, FBI Director James Comey said the organization paid more to get into the iPhone than he would make in the remaining seven years and four months he has in his job, suggesting the hack cost over $US1.3 million, based on his annual salary.

The Justice Department unlocked the iPhone in March with the help of the contractor after Apple Inc refused to bypass the device’s encryption features on grounds it could undermine security for all users.

The FBI, not the contractor, has physical possession of the mechanism used to open the phone but does not know details of how it works, one of the sources said.

The identity of the contractor is so closely-held inside the FBI that not even Mr Comey knows who it is.

The FBI is still examining the contents of the iPhone in the hope they will help fill gaps in their investigation of the shooting last December that killed 14 people and wounded 22 people.

An FBI spokesman had no comment.

Reuters

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5 dead as gunman attacks churchgoers in Russia

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At least five people were killed and another five were injured when a gunman attacked a crowd of people leaving a church on Sunday in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported.

The attack occurred in the village of Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

CCTV footage from the site of the deadly shooting shows a man armed with a rifle gunning down two women in broad daylight.

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A bearded man clad in a black vest and camouflage pants was seen crossing the street before opening fire on two female churchgoers as they left a service in Kizlyar in the Republic of Dagestan on Sunday afternoon. A woman walking several meters from the attacker was seen rushing away as the bloodshed unfolded.

The attacker was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

Agencies

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