Ex-CIA employee identified as suspect in 'Vault 7' leaks

US Identifies Suspect In Major Leak Of CIA Hacking Tools

A prosecutor says the government hopes to bring new charges within weeks against a former Central Intelligence Agency employee who is jailed on child pornography charges, but is also a target of a probe of a massive leak of cyber hacking tools, according to court documents reviewed on Tuesday by AP.

The collection of 8,000 documents contained detailed information about network intrusion tools used by the CIA to gain intelligence (see 7 Facts: "Vault 7" CIA Hacking Tool Dump by WikiLeaks).

"This is CIA's Edward Snowden", former CIA acting director Michael Morrell told CBS News Justice correspondent Jeff Pegues a year ago, referring to the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked millions of documents in 2013.

Schulte's defense attorney said in court that the government's reasoning used to obtain search warrants for Schulte's property were "just flat inaccurate and not true".

Joshua Adam Schulte, who worked for a CIA group that designs computer code to spy on foreign adversaries, is believed to have provided the agency's top-secret information to WikiLeaks, federal prosecutors acknowledged in a hearing in January.

But a Wednesday online search of Loudoun County Circuit Court records did not turn up any active case, at least yet, that names Schulte.

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

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It is noted that despite the long months of investigation, prosecutors have been unable to charge him.

Instead, Schulte was charged last August with three counts of receipt, possession and transportation of child pornography.

Schulte is reportedly being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

Laroche accused Schulte of using Tor - a web browser that gives user privacy, anonymity, and security while surfing the web - to transmit classified documents. Prosecutors, meanwhile, said in court last week that they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days. A lawyer for Schulte told The New York Times: "This case has been dragging since August 2017".

The hearing transcript continues: "Even more troubling, which wasn't really addressed by defence counsel, is that the defendant or someone in his apartment was using Tor in his apartment during the time when he was on pre-trial release, and this is extremely troubling to the government because Tor is a way to establish anonymous connections to various internet locations to hide the person who is actually accessing those sites". He quit the spy agency in 2016 to work in the private sector.

The CIA is not commenting on the latest developments. The statement said he later reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to the agency's inspector general and a congressional oversight committee.

Clarification: An earlier version of this report quoted Laroche as saying that "those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure".

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