Ex-CIA employee charged in ‘Vault 7’ leaks

The Vault 7 leaks became public in March 2017 and gave an unprecedented look at the CIA's hacking capabilities.
Joshua Schulte
The update comes more than two months after a jury found Schulte, 31, guilty of lying to the FBI and contempt of court. (

A former CIA employee was charged on Monday with leaking a collection of U.S. hacking tools used for global spying.

Joshua Adam Schulte, who previously worked for both the NSA and CIA, faces charges for allegedly stealing and transmitting classified national defense information. He’s suspected of transmitting the data to WikiLeaks, which then published the information under the name “Vault 7.”

Schulte, 29, is also charged with possession and transportation of child pornography. The maximum penalty is 130 years in prison.

The Vault 7 leaks became public in March 2017, giving an unprecedented look at the CIA’s hacking capabilities. WikiLeaks spent subsequent months publishing further data from the leak.


Prosecutors say Schulte stole the data beginning in March 2016.

William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said Schulte “utterly betrayed this nation.” Schulte pleaded not guilty to the child pornography charges and has steadfastly denied any involvement in the Vault 7 case.

WikiLeaks reacted to the news by noting what it saw as possible weaknesses in the case on Twitter and then re-promoting its Vault 7 stories from 2017.

Schulte’s previous jobs included work designing hacking tools for technical directorates at NSA and CIA.

Prosecutors say Schulte tried to cover his tracks by deleting and altering logs that would record his accessing the stolen data.


You can read the new indictment in full below:

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