The U.S. government has identified a suspect in the leak previous year of a large portion of the CIA's computer hacking arsenal, the cyber-tools the agency had used to conduct espionage operations overseas, according to interviews and public documents. Although the feds did not bring a case against the former staffer for the leaks, they did charge him with possession of child pornography dating back to 2009. The New York Times reports that the suspect in question is a 29-year-old former C.I.A. software engineer named Joshua A. Schulte.
A former CIA software engineer is the prime suspect in the leaking of a stolen archive of spy agency's secrets previous year, United States media have revealed.
The leak, which was referred to as "Vault 7", was one of the largest in U.S. history, but in August, prosecutors separately charged Schulte with possession of child pornography - agents apparently found 10,000 images on a server he built as a business in 2009 while at university in Austin, Texas. His lawyers maintain he had nothing to do with the Vault 7 leaks, and he has not been charged with any crimes related to the case.
Authorities also found images on Schulte's phone of an unnamed woman being sexually assaulted while "passed out on the floor" of his bathroom.
"This case has been dragging since August 2017", Shroff told The Times. The agency would also like to arrest the person responsible for providing the documents to Wikileaks, and has identified a possible suspect. And I would disagree with the defense counsel's characterization that those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with his involvement in that disclosure.
Schulte is reportedly being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. He has pleaded not guilty.
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So how did Schulte wind up facing charges relating to child pornography?
However, prosecutors suggested in the hearing that they were unable to present the evidence to the court because, while they had decrypted his hard-disk drives, they were unable to separate the child abuse images from the Vault 7 documents, and therefore required security clearance before the hearing could continue.
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". The statement said he later reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to the agency's inspector general and a congressional oversight committee. 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. He then left the intelligence community in 2016 and started working in the private sector.
The CIA declined to comment.
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. Some of Schulte's family members believe he is a scapegoat for the CIA's massive security fumble.
According to the former Central Intelligence Agency engineer he had been planning a trip to Mexico with his brother around the time his apartment was searched, which may have given the appearance that he was trying to flee the country.
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)'. "They conducted a number of search warrants on the defendant's residence".