Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

US Identifies Suspect in Leak of CIA Hacking Tools

US Identifies Suspect in Leak of CIA Hacking Tools

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.

Schulte's lawyers have argued that he simply ran a public server and had no idea as to the contents of the encrypted container.

That cache would eventually be disclosed as the "Vault 7" data dump.

The embarrassing leaks - the largest data theft in the agency's history - included software that was created to take over iPhones and turn smart TVs into surveillance devices, the paper reported Tuesday.

According to The Washington Post, we are talking about Joshua Adam Schulte.

He is suspected of passing classified information to the WikiLeaks website. They conducted a number of search warrants on the defendant's residence.

US federal prosecutor Matthew Laroche detailed the investigation during a January 8, 2018 hearing in a NY federal courtroom. Still, the article said, Schulte advised one user, "Just don't put anything too illegal on there".

In August previous year, authorities filed child pornography charges against Schulte, who is in a jail in Manhattan, after claiming to have found 10,000 illicit images on a server that he had set up in 2009 while studying at the University of Texas in Austin.

He has plead not guilty to the charges.

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Jacob Kaplan, Schulte's attorney at the January hearing, told the court that "the government had full access to his computers and his phone, and they found the child pornography in this case, but what they didn't find was any connection to the WikiLeaks investigation".

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

A former employee of the national security Agency USA Edward Snowden said that Wikileaks published CIA documents appear genuine.

The CIA is not commenting on the latest developments.

Schulte told the Washington Post that he left the Central Intelligence Agency on bad terms after reporting "incompetent management and bureaucracy", as well as multiple oversight authorities. The documents themselves covered a period from 2013 to 2016, when Schulte had been employed at the agency.

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.

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.

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