Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Central Intelligence Agency hacking leaker ID'd - but not charged?

Central Intelligence Agency hacking leaker ID'd - but not charged?

In lieu of evidence tying Schulte to Vault 7, Schultz is now being held on child pornography charges, for which he has pleaded not guilty.

Federal authorities searched Schulte's apartment in NY previous year and obtained personal computer equipment, notebooks and handwritten notes, according to a copy of the search warrant reviewed by The Washington Post.

A case against Schulte relating to the Vault 7 leaks has still not be brought by the U.S. government.

The data dump, which WikiLeaks referred to as "Vault 7", contained 7,818 Web pages and 943 attachments and included more than several hundred million lines of code, providing "the entire hacking capacity of the Central Intelligence Agency". 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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Prior to joining the CIA, Schulte worked for the National Security Agency.

The FBI's WikiLeaks investigation is "ongoing" as of January, according to court documents, and Schulte "remains a target of that investigation".

Schulte's defenders claim that he was being flippant and that he had no idea what people were storing on his servers. He was thrown back in jail in December when he violated that order.

At the time of the leaks a year ago, the CIA released a sombre statement: "The American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure created to damage the Intelligence Community's ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries". Prosecutors, the Times also reports, plan to file a new indictment against Schulte that pertains to the leak, within 45 days.

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It's unclear why Schulte has yet to be charged in relation to his alleged involvement in the leaked Vault 7 material.

Weaver added that the fact the leak could happen was more significant as it came well after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden released masses of documents about the agency's surveillance of American citizens in 2013.

But at Schulte's January detention hearing, Kaplan signaled his and his client's frustration with the investigation. Kaplan had been living with his cousin in NY. "The government immediately had enough evidence to establish that he was a target of that investigation", said prosecutor Matthew Laroche in court.

Laroche accused Schulte of using Tor - a web browser that gives user privacy, anonymity, and security while surfing the web - to transmit classified documents.

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Tor, which is short for The Onion Router, routes data through a network of random proxies around the world, making the origin of data traffic hard to trace. Part of the investigation "is analyzing whether and to what extent TOR was used in transmitting classified information", Laroche said in court to Judge Paul Crotty. That's not going to be much of a defense, however, when Schulte comes to trial - and he should be very anxious about his prospects in court.

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