Suspect in Massive CIA Leak Identified

Joshua Schulte CIA leak Vault 7

Schulte, a 29-year-old former CIA software engineer, is believed to have provided the agency's top-secret information to WikiLeaks, federal prosecutors said in a hearing in January.

Starting in March 2017, the Vault 7 leaks gave access to a trove of hacking tools and documentation on electronic surveillance capabilities that was initially developed for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Sabrina Shroff, a lawyer for Schulte, has repeatedly demanded that prosecutors either charge him or drop the case.

Despite searching the suspect's NY apartment, prosecutors say they now lack the evidence to charge Schulte.

Schulte also claimed that he reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to that agency's inspector general as well as a congressional oversight committee.

"Those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure", Matthew Laroche, an assistant USA attorney in the Southern District of NY, said in a January hearing regarding the Vault 7 case. While it was embarrassing for the CIA to lose so many documents, the dump itself provided little in the way of juicy intel: mostly it just showed that, yes, the CIA engages in covert intelligence operations. The leak also led to security researchers finding cases of the tools actively infecting governments and companies since at least 2011.

Schulte's father, Roger, said he was scared to death. Prosecutors said in court last week they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days, according to the Times.

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Schulte has pleaded not guilty to the child porn charges and stated that anywhere from 50 to 100 people had access to the server he'd created in 2009 as a way to share movies and other digital files, according to the publication.

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.

The CIA is not commenting on the latest developments.

For reasons that are still unknown, Schulte hasn't been charged in the case despite being arrested more than a year ago.

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.

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 said he had also been planning a vacation with his brother to Cancun, Mexico, which may have given the appearance that he was trying to flee the country.

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