US indicts former CIA employee for leaking Vault 7 files

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The US has charged a 29-year-old man named Joshua Schulte with spreading classified information from the CIA. This was done by releasing the so-called Vault 7 files, which discussed CIA tools and tactics.

The US Department of Justice does not name the organization with which Schulte shared the files, but The Washington Post writes that it is assumed that this refers to WikiLeaks. The organization began publishing the files from the Vault 7 collection in March of last year. “Joshua Schulte, a former CIA employee, is suspected of using his access to the CIA to send classified material to an outside organization,” the ministry said.

Later in the report, the ministry writes that Schulte also allegedly caused damage to CIA systems by gaining unauthorized access, removing evidence of his activities and denying others access to the systems. He then allegedly lied to the FBI about his actions.

In March 2017, when WikiLeaks’ first Vault 7 publication appeared, the FBI already searched the suspect’s home, the ministry said. There, the FBI found several computers and servers, which the investigative service seized. It turned out that Schulte had an encrypted container on one of his systems, in which 10,000 images of child porn were allegedly found ‘under three layers of passwords’.

He had previously used those passwords on his phone, which gave the FBI access. The service is also said to have found chat logs in which the distribution of the material was discussed. The FBI is also said to have found several Google searches in which the suspect searched for child pornography. Schulte had already been arrested for this in August 2017 and is also being charged for these offences.

The Vault 7 publications contain information on a variety of topics, such as Windows malware, router hacks, and other CIA tools.

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