back to article Months-long trial of alleged CIA Vault 7 exploit leaker ends with hung jury: Ex-sysadmin guilty of contempt, lying to FBI

The extraordinary trial of a former CIA sysadmin accusing of leaking top-secret hacking tools to WikiLeaks has ended in a mistrial. In Manhattan court on Monday morning, jurors indicated to Judge Paul Crotty they had been unable to reach agreement on the eight most serious counts, which included illegal gathering and …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    So far, as well as can be expected

    I said it before and I'll say it again, I can't see how the prosecution will be able to prove the more serious charges.

    Getting information on Michael will probably help the defense case but, depending on what it contains, the prosecution may decide to drop the serious charges rather than reveal it.

  2. First Light Silver badge

    See, sometimes it does work!

    Just reviewed the comments on the previous article about this case. The one saying that the jury would convict him got 58 votes! Well, you can all suck up the mistrial. Yes, he wasn't acquitted, but it is just not that easy to send people away in the US for no reason.

    Despite gloomy predictions on here, the US justice system still does work in some cases.

    Of course, Schulte's lawyer has 29 years with the Federal Public Defenders (free legal aid) and it sounds like she is a top-class professional. Apparently his CIA salary was not high enough to prevent him from slumming it with the FPD's office.

    1. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Re: See, sometimes it does work!

      They'll keep after him until they get a conviction.

      US Gov does not back down easily, even when it can be shown they are wrong.

      Citizen Four gives an excellent example of this with actual video of court testimony.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: See, sometimes it does work!

        US Gov does not back down easily, ESPECIALLY when it can be shown they are wrong.

        There, FTFY.

  3. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Interesting prosecution statement

    "The prosecution argued this was evidence that Schulte was willing to damage US interests to further his own goals."

    Didn't they try that with Trump too?

  4. Cederic Silver badge

    when will people learn

    Never talk to the FBI. Never. It's just not worth the risk of accidentally contradicting yourself at some point and BANG! You're in federal prison.

    Never talk to the FBI.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: when will people learn

      Damn straight. Don't let yourself be questioned by any law enforcement officers without benefit of counsel. And when you have that, let your lawyer do the talking.

      But especially not by Federal officers, because lying to Federal officers is a felony, and they'll go out of their way to trick you into a misstatement they can construe as a lie. Ken White has a piece about this (and he's not complimentary) on Popehat.

  5. iron Silver badge

    > stole the tools from an insecure server in the heart of spies' headquarters.

    FTFY That server could not be described as secure.

  6. phuzz Silver badge

    "multiple people used the same admin username and password to access the critical servers [...] the passwords used were weak [...] and on top of that, they were published on the department’s intranet."

    Wow. So I'm guessing the CIA hires sysadmins who can't cope in the real world then eh?

    You wouldn't even get past a basic PCI audit with that level of insecure behaviour.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I suspect this was a combination of lax oversight and illusory superiority - in effect an unconscious bias to believe that because the OSB considered themselves a top information-security team, they didn't need to worry about securing their own systems.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So is there any punishment for the crap security on the system?

    Those that allowed the poopy passwords, and the sharing there of, should at least get corrective action.

    If nothing else, it shows the level of in-competence in our spy agency is deeper than expected, but I'm not shocked.

    1. e^iπ+1=0

      poopy passwords


      One of them had MIXed case, the other was amultiwordpassword.

      Following 90s password guidelines to the letter.

      Published on the website as a backup / disaster recovery.

  8. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "the level of in-competence in our spy agency is deeper than expected"

    90% of everything is crap - and that applies to government agencies in spades.

    Someone fucked up somewhere - and so it was decided to pin the tail on the Asshat.

    In the process they've underscored my feeling that conspiracies seldom cause major events (eg 9/11) but many are cooked up afterwards amongst the culpable as ways of avoiding getting the blame and the sack.

  9. Eatondave

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Who watches the watchers? Or in this case who checks on the SysAdmins?

    1. ortunk

      Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      The ghost in the machine?

      Or was that a trick question?


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