Suspect Named in Leak of 'Vault 7' and Top-Secret CIA Hacking Tools

Former CIA engineer, 29, facing a child pornography charge is also suspected of leaking devastating secret agency documents to Wikileaks

When Schulte's apartment was searched, a week after the first Vault 7 dump on 7 March, the search warrant application said he was suspected of "distribution of national defence information".

At a January hearing in a case involving child pornography charges filed against Schulte, Matthew Laroche, an assistant US attorney in the Southern District of NY, said the material was taken from the CIA during a time when Schulte worked for the agency. Prosecutors, the Times also reports, plan to file a new indictment against Schulte that pertains to the leak, within 45 days.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Schulte's New York City residence on March 13, 2017, seizing computers and servers containing at least 10 terabytes of data, some of which was encrypted.

Schulte has been under investigation for months but prosecutors have not charged him.

Schulte is being held without bail on child pornography charges brought against him in Manhattan federal court.

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A source with knowledge of what Schulte did at the Central Intelligence Agency told the Washington Post he coded for the Engineering Development Group (EDG), a group involved in the development of cyber weapons. He argues dozens of people had access to the server.

According to Schulte's LinkedIn page, he was an intern at the NSA while studying. It's been almost a year since investigators put Schulte in their crosshairs; they've had access to this data for a long time, and custody of Schulte for five months after he violated the terms of his bail release.

A criminal complaint filed against Mr. Schulte alleges he operated a website, Cryptm.org, and an image hosted there revealed that he used the handle "pedbsktbll" as a user name on a dating website and for online games, Motherboard reported Wednesday.

At a January 8 hearing, Schulte's attorneys argued that they did not contest his detention, based on their understanding that Schulte would be sent to Virginia, pursuant to a warrant.

"I am just scared to death", said Roger Schulte, Mr. Schulte's father, who lives in Lubbock, Tex. Leak investigators have had access to electronic audit trails inside the C.I.A. that may indicate who accessed the files that were stolen, and they have had possession of Mr. Schulte's personal data for many months. "The government immediately had enough evidence to establish that he was a target of that investigation", said prosecutor Matthew Laroche in court. 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. Many media companies have set up systems that use Tor, to enable people to more safely send tips or share information without being traced. "In fact, our investigation is ongoing", Laroche said. The leak also led to security researchers finding cases of the tools actively infecting governments and companies since at least 2011.

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