Friday April 19, 2024

Joshua Schulte: Why former CIA hacker is sentenced 40 years in jail?

Joshua Schulte has been sentenced concerning WikiLeaks

By Web Desk
February 03, 2024
A representational image of computer data. — Pixabay
A representational image of computer data. — Pixabay

Joshua Schulte is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who was convicted of leaking information and classified documents to WikiLeaks and has been sentenced to 40 years in prison, BBC reported.

Labelled as "the largest loss of classified documents in the agency's history and a huge embarrassment for CIA officials" by the New York Times, the information was released by WikiLeaks as part of the "Vault 7" document series in 2017.

He was further convicted of harnessing pictures of child abuse.

Early life and career

Schulte grew up in Lubbock, Texas, in a family of five.

According to his friends, he has always been interested in computers and graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in computer engineering.

Before joining the CIA in 2010, he was working at the National Security Agency (NSA).

Due to an escalation between him and an employee, he left the CIA in 2016 and worked at Bloomberg until his arrest.

The trial

Schulte worked as a software engineer for the Centre for Cyber Intelligence, which carries out cyber espionage against foreign governments and terrorist groups.

According to the prosecution, he sent the stolen data to WikiLeaks in 2016 and then told Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) investigators false information about his involvement in the release.

They claimed that he appeared to be driven by resentment following a conflict at work.

Assistant US Attorney Michael Lockard stated that Schulte had been having trouble meeting deadlines and that one of his projects was running so far behind schedule that his colleagues gave him the nickname "Drifting Deadline."

They added that, after his arrest, Schulte attempted to transmit more information. He smuggled a phone into jail, where he attempted to send a reporter information about CIA cyber groups and drafted tweets that included information about CIA cyber tools under the name Jason Bourne, a fictional intelligence operative.