Former CIA employee Joshua Schulte was convicted of only minor charges

Pierluigi Paganini March 09, 2020

Joshua Schulte, the former CIA employee accused of leaking secret agency’s hacking tools to WikiLeaks was convicted of only minor charges

Joshua Schulte, the former CIA software engineer that was accused of stealing the agency’s hacking tools and leaking them to WikiLeaks, was convicted of only minor charges.

On November 2018, Joshua Adam Schulte was charged with 13 count indictment in June.

In middle May 2018, both The New York Times and The Washington Post, revealed the name of the alleged source of the Vault 7 leak, the man who passed the secret documents to Wikileaks. According to his LinkedIn profile, Schulte worked for the NSA for five months in 2010 as a systems engineer, after this experience, he joined the CIA as a software engineer and he left the CIA in November 2016.

Schulte was identified a few days after WikiLeaks started leaking the precious dumps.

Schulte was arrested for possession of child pornography, he was charged on three counts of receipt, possession and transportation of child pornography in August 2017.

The man was released in September 2017, but in December he was arrested again for violating the conditions of his release.

In November 2018, Joshua Adam Schulte faced new charges included in a new indictment filed in Manhattan federal court, he was charged with the unlawful transmission and attempted unlawful transmission of national defense secrets from prison.

“After hearing four weeks of testimony, the jurors deadlocked on eight counts, including illegal gathering and transmission of national defense information. They did convict Mr. Schulte on two other counts — contempt of court and making false statements to the F.B.I.” reported the New York Times.

“The motivation for the alleged theft, prosecutors said, was Mr. Schulte’s belief that C.I.A. management did not take his workplace complaints seriously. His feuding with co-workers led to his resignation in November 2016 to join Bloomberg L.P. as a software engineer.

In February, the lawyers of the former CIA employee asked the court for a mistrial in this case, they claimed the prosecutors withheld evidence that could exonerate his client during the trial in the Manhattan federal court.

This caused the jurors’s disagreement on the most severe charges against Joshua Schulte after deliberating last week.

According a report recently published by Chinese security firm Qihoo 360, leaked materials they collected reveal that Vault 7 was developed by Joshua and that APT-C -39 a CIA-linked hacking unit.

The Chinese security firm also adds that the APT-C-39 hacking group employed several Vault 7 tools in its operations, including the Fluxwire backdoor, and the Grasshopper malware builder.

crypto CIA Wikileaks

Qihoo 360 reported that technical details of most implants used by the APT-C-39 are consistent with the ones described in the Vault 7 dump. Experts added that APT-C-39 used relevant cyber weapons against targets in China before the leak of Vault 7 documents.

Schulte will be judged in a separate trial for the child-pornography case and could face a 20-year maximum sentence.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Joshua Schulte)

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