Federal Bureau of Investigation has probed ex-CIA employee over leak of hacking tools

Clay Curtis
May 16, 2018

Schulte has been housed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center ever since.

Joshua Adam Schulte, who has worked for technical directorates at National Security Agency and the CIA, was charged with child pornography possession in August 2017.

The disclosures were later referred to as the "Vault 7" leak when they were published by WikiLeaks past year.

It was one of the most significant leaks in the CIA's history, exposing secret cyberweapons and spying techniques that might be used against the United States, according to current and former intelligence officials.

Roger said his son was in college when he set up the server later claimed to contain child pornography, and that he "had so many people accessing it he didn't care what people put on it".

On the whole, the Vault 7 disclosures are less damaging than their Shadow Brokers counterparts because the WikiLeaks dispatches haven't included potent source code that could be repurposed.

"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 wrote in a statement obtained by the Post.

Last week, Schulte's lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, told a court that a deadline should be set for the government to file charges on the allegation that he was behind the Central Intelligence Agency leaks.

"Those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure", said assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York Matthew Laroche.

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.

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

He has plead not guilty to the charges. 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.

Prosecutors said they plan to file a new indictment by July. Prosecutors say he had a cache of it on a server he maintained. Schulte said 50 to 100 people had access to the server, created to share movies and other files.

Schulte worked in the CIA's Engineering Development Group, which produced malware used to break into the computers of terrorism suspects and other targets.

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

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. This, he alleges, made him appear as a disgruntled employee when he left the spy agency in 2016.

He also said that because of 'unfortunate circumstances the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgement that (he) was guilty of the leaks and targeted (him)'.

Schulte was arrested in August, but prosecutors have been unable to bring charges against him.

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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