Ex-CIA hacker jailed for 40 years for his role in WikiLeaks

Joshua Adam Schulte was sentenced to 40 years in prison for crimes of espionage, hacking, and child pornography, among other things.

“Joshua Schulte betrayed his country by committing some of the most brazen, heinous crimes of espionage in American history,” US Attorney Damian Williams said.

Schulte, a former CIA employee and software engineer, became infamous for his role in sharing classified information with WikiLeaks.

On April 20, 2016, when other developers had left the Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI) office where Schulte worked, he misused his secret server administrator session. He executed a series of cyber-maneuvers on the CIA network, restoring his revoked privileges, breaking into the backups, and stealing copies of the entire CCI tool development archives - referred to as the “Stolen CIA Files.”

From his home computer, Schulte transmitted the “Stolen CIA Files” to WikiLeaks, which started publishing classified data in March, 2017.

“Schulte’s theft and disclosure immediately and profoundly damaged the CIA’s ability to collect foreign intelligence against America’s adversaries; placed CIA personnel, programs, and assets directly at risk; and cost the CIA hundreds of millions of dollars,” US Attorney’s Office noted.

When the FBI raided Schulte’s apartment in New York, agents found tons of child sexual abuse materials that included “disturbing and horrific child pornography and the rape and sexual abuse of children as young as two years old, as well as images of bestiality and sadomasochism.”

Schulte, 35, was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release in addition to the prison team.

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