Feds Identify Suspect in CIA Hacking Tools Leak

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It was then a series of unlucky coincidences, he said, that led the government to focus in on him as a suspect in the leak investigation.

The full scope of the case against Schulte is unclear. Instead, authorities charged him in August with possessing and transporting child pornography.

He has plead not guilty to the charges. His attorneys have also denied he had any involvement in the Vault 7 leak.

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. He revealed extraordinary details about the capabilities of the United States to spy on computers and phones around the world, but the Vault 7 leaks showed how such spying is actually done, the current and former officials argued. Still, the leak underscored the major problem USA intelligence officials were having in securing their arsenal of hacking tools. After quitting the CIA in November 2016 - according to Roger he had complained about security vulnerabilities at the agency - he joined Bloomberg as a software engineer.

According to the Times, FBI agents said they found images of children being molested by adults on a server Schulte created as a business in 2009 while he was a student at the University of Texas.


Schulte's father, Roger, said he was scared to death.

Schulte said in the statement that he joined the intelligence community to fulfill what he saw as a patriotic duty to respond to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

According to the New York Times, FBI agents obtained a warrant to search Schulte's apartment in March 2017, a week after WikiLeaks released the first batch of Vault 7 documents, which highlighted how the Central Intelligence Agency tapped into iPhones and smart TVs and turned them into surveillance devices. It is not clear whether the government is pursuing contractors as part of the leak investigation, but prosecutors have not mentioned anyone other than Schulte in court proceedings.

The report says that, while the government thinks Schulte was the one who handed the cache of documents over to WikiLeaks, they do not now have enough evidence to bring charges.

Sabrina Shroff, a lawyer for Schulte, has repeatedly demanded that prosecutors either charge him or drop the case. Prosecutors, meanwhile, said in court last week that they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days.

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