A Manhattan federal court jury has convicted Joshua Schulte for leaking Vault 7 related sensitive documents and other classified US intelligence malware tools. As reported by Hackread.com in May 2018, the ex-CIA software engineer was detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center until the trial.
Schulte defended himself during the trial. However, the jury found him guilty on 8 espionage charges and an additional obstruction charge. The jury deliberated for three days before announcing the verdict.
Schulte may get up to 80 years sentence. As per a statement from US Attorney Damian Williams, Joshua Schulte was convicted for one of the most “damaging” and “brazen” espionage acts in the history of the US.
Furthermore, Williams stated that Schulte’s actions had a “devastating effect” on US intelligence by offering “critical intelligence” to anti-US actors.
The Infamous Vault 7 Leaks
The 33-year-old Joshua is a former software engineer/programmer convicted for leaking sensitive documents, several top-secret hacking tools, and exploits dubbed Vault 7. It is worth noting that the Vault 7 leak included trojans, viruses, malware, zero-day exploits, malware remote control systems, and related documents dating from 2013 to 2016.
The documents, as seen by Hackread.com, also exposed how the CIA targets unsuspected individuals and businesses by exploiting vulnerabilities in a targeted system. The list of CIA’s targets, according to the Vault 7 leak, included the following:
According to WikiLeaks, these documents exposed “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA.”
The documents and tools in discussion were published by WikiLeaks on their website under the handle of Vault 7 on on 7 March 2017. These documents contained a trove of 8,000 documents and 943 attachments showing how the CIA developed tools to hack their targets and turn them into spying devices.
Schulte was arrested on 24 August 2017 and charged with unauthorized disclosure of confidential information and stealing classified material in June 2018. He is also facing separate charges over alleged possession of child pornography.
In conclusion, although Schulte has been convicted, the Vault 7 leaks shed light on the CIA’s extensive and invasive surveillance capabilities which concern all Americans and people/businesses around the world.