US Identifies Suspect in Leak of CIA Hacking Tools


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

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. WikiLeaks began releasing them in March 2017. He argues dozens of people had access to the server.

Transcripts [PDF] from the case contains multiple references to searches related to the Vault 7 case.

Schulte's connection to the leak investigation has not been previously reported.

In a statement to the Post, Schulte proclaimed his innocence. But that failed to provide the evidence that prosecutors needed to indict Schulte with illegally giving the information to WikiLeaks.

Assistant U.S. attorney Matthew Laroche said despite the lack of an indictment, Shulte "remains a target" of an ongoing investigation. That includes the fact they he is believed to have used software called Tor, which allows users to communicate and transmit information over the Internet anonymously, and the fact he was planning a vacation to Cancun, Mexico. 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.

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.

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However, he is facing unrelated charges in the New York Southern District court for possession and distribution of child abuse images. He's pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Schulte worked at the agency as a software engineer who helped design malware used to break into the computers of terrorism suspects and other targets.

Here's where things get tricky: the government says it does not have enough evidence to charge Schulte with the leak.

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

It is noted that despite the long months of investigation, prosecutors have been unable to charge him. 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, who has launched a Web page to raise money for his defense and post articles critical of the criminal-justice system, claims that he initially provided assistance to the FBI's investigation.