Former CIA employee suspected in Vault 7 leak to Wikileaks

Former CIA employee suspected in Vault 7 leak to Wikileaks

The leaks, which Wikileaks called "Vault 7", revealed tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency to hack phones, TVs and computers as part of its investigations.

The U.S. government has identified a suspect in the leak past 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.

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

He was then tossed back in jail in December after prosecutors found evidence that he had broken those rules, and he has been held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan since then, according to the paper's report.

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.

Assistant U.S. attorney at the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Matthew Laroche, has been on the case and he said Schulte "remains a target" of an ongoing investigation into whether he used TOR to anonymously disclose classified information. But that failed to provide the evidence that prosecutors needed to indict Schulte with illegally giving the information to WikiLeaks.

Part of that investigation, Laroche said, was analyzing whether a technology known as Tor, which allows Internet users to hide their location, "was used in transmitting classified information".

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

In August a year ago, 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 pleaded not guilty.

The CIA declined to comment. The archive appears to have been circulated among former USA government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive. According to Schulte's LinkedIn page, he also worked for the US National Security Agency as a system engineer, prior to his time at the CIA.

"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", he said.

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