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etvfutures.com May 22, 2018


Suspect identified in Central Intelligence Agency hacking methods leak

16 May 2018, 09:32 | Opal Carroll

A man walks across the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency in the lobby of CIA headquarters in McLean Virginia. Alex Wong Getty Images

A man walks across the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency in the lobby of CIA headquarters in McLean Virginia.                        Alex Wong Getty Images

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

Whoever leaked the information apparently sent it to WikiLeaks, where it was published under the name "Vault 7".

A government prosecutor disagreed with what he called the "characterization" by Schulte's attorney that "those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure". However, the search failed to turn up evidence prosecutors need to indict Schulte on the leaking charges, according to The Washington Post, which was first to report the news.

"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.

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

As CBS News reported a year ago, the stolen documents describe clandestine methods for bypassing or defeating encryption, antivirus tools and other protective security features meant to keep the private information of citizens and corporations safe from prying eyes. The NYT said that court papers quote messages that suggest Schulte knew of encrypted images on his computer showing children being molested by adults.

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The child pornography charges, according to the NYT, stem from material investigators found on a server Schulte created as a business in 2009 while he was a student at the University of Texas. During his time at CIA, Schulte was employed at National Clandestine Service (NCS) as a Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T) Intelligence Officer. 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.

Why federal investigators haven't formally charged Schulte for the leaking isn't clear.

In a statement read by WaPo, Shulte said he joined the Central Intelligence Agency to fulfill a patriotic mission to respond to the September 11 attacks of 2001. This, he alleges, made him appear as a disgruntled employee when he left the spy agency in 2016.

Schulte was arrested in August, but prosecutors have been unable to bring charges against 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. Laroche was actually describing a "characterization" by Schulte's attorneys and expressing disagreement.



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