Feds Identify Suspect in CIA Hacking Tools Leak

Feds Identify Suspect in CIA Hacking Tools Leak

Feds Identify Suspect in CIA Hacking Tools Leak

A report from The Washington Post cites court documents that name Joshua Adam Schulte as the person authorities think to be behind the massive Vault7 data dump. He was in the CIA for the development of a computer code to the intelligence of foreign adversaries. But that failed to provide the evidence that prosecutors needed to indict Schulte with illegally giving the information to WikiLeaks.

It is unclear why he has not been charged or cleared in connection with the theft and subsequent leak.

However, he is facing unrelated charges in the New York Southern District court for possession and distribution of child abuse images.

An assistant U.S. attorney, Matthew Larouche, claimed during a court hearing in January that "the government immediately had enough evidence" to investigate Schulte as a suspect in the Vault 7 leaks. They conducted a number of search warrants on the defendant's residence.

Part of that investigation, Laroche said, was analyzing whether a technology known as Tor, which allows Internet users to hide their location, "was used in transmitting classified information". According to an FBI affidavit, investigators obtained passwords from Schulte's phone and decrypted a 54 GB file stored on a virtual machine that allegedly contained 10,000 offensive images and videos.


They allege messages sent by Mr Schulte suggest he was aware of illicit pictures being hosted on a server he created as a business while a university student in 2009. He argues dozens of people had access to the server. Schulte is now in a Manhattan jail on charges of possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography, after prosecutors allege they found a large cache of child pornography on a server that was maintained by Schulte. He maintained the agency targeted him because he was the only member of his team to leave the agency after reporting "incompetent management" to the CIA's inspector general.

Weaver added that the fact the leak could happen was more significant as it came well after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden released masses of documents about the agency's surveillance of American citizens in 2013.

So far, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency haven't commented on the case.

"Due to these unfortunate coincidences the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgment that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me", Schulte said.

Clarification: An earlier version of this report quoted Laroche as saying that "those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure".

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