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Suspect in Leak of CIA Hacking Tools Identified by U.S.

The US government has identified a suspect in the 2017 leak of a large portion of the Central Intelligence Agencys computer hacking arsenal, the cyber-tools the agency had used to conduct spying operations overseas, the media reported.

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Hacking (representative image), Pixabay

The US government has identified a suspect in the 2017 leak of a large portion of the Central Intelligence Agencys computer hacking arsenal, the cyber-tools the agency had used to conduct spying operations overseas, the media reported.

But despite months of investigation, prosecutors had been unable to bring charges against the 29-year-old man, who was identified on Tuesday as a former CIA employee being held in a Manhattan jail on unrelated charges, the Washington Post reported.

Joshua Adam Schulte, who worked in the CIA’s Engineering Development Group tasked with designing computer codes to spy on foreign adversaries, was behind the “Vault 7” leaks of top-secret CIA information, the daily said.

He is believed to have provided the confidential data to WikiLeaks.

According to the Post, federal prosecutors obtained a search warrant in 2017 for personal computers and hand-written notes from his apartment, but no evidence linking Schulte to the disclosure was found.

A government prosecutor disagreed with what he called the “characterisation” by Schulte’s attorney that “those search warrants haven’t yielded anything that is consistent with (Schulte’s) involvement in that disclosure”.

According to the Post, federal prosecutors obtained a search warrant in 2017 for personal computers and hand-written notes from his apartment, but no evidence linking Schulte to the disclosure was found.
U.S. Flag. Pixabay

But the prosecutor, Matthew Laroche, an assistant US attorney in New York, said that the government has not brought an indictment, and that the investigation “is ongoing” and Schulte “remains a target of that investigation,” according to a court transcript of the January 8 hearing that escaped public notice at the time.

Part of that investigation, Laroche said, was analysing whether a technology known as Tor, which allows Internet users to hide their location, “was used in transmitting classified information”.

Schulte said in a statement to the Post that he was innocent, arguing that the CIA targeted him because he was the only member of his team to leave the agency after reporting “incompetent management” to its inspector general.

“Due to these unfortunate coincidences the FBI ultimately made the snap judgment that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me,” Schulte said.

He is currently in custody for “possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography”, according to an indictment lodged in September. He has pleaded not guilty.

Also Read: Black Box: A Chip That Makes Hacking Impossible

According to certain current and former intelligence officials the Vault 7 disclosures could cause more damage than those done by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

During his tenure at NSA, Snowden downloaded tens of thousands of classified top secret US documents. (IANS)

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E-Commerce Giant Amazon Plans To Hire 1 Lakh Full, Part-Time Staff Across U.S. Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

In the U.S., Amazon will be adding an additional $2 per hour worked through April from its current rate of $15/hour or more, depending on the region, 2 pounds per hour in the UK, and approximately 2 euros per hour in many EU countries

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Amazon
Amazon said it is seeing a significant increase in demand, which means its labour needs are "unprecedented for this time of year". VOA

Amazon plans to hire 100,000 new full and part-time staff across the US in its fulfilment centres and delivery network as more and people are relying on online deliveries for their daily needs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon said it is seeing a significant increase in demand, which means its labour needs are “unprecedented for this time of year”.

“We also know many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as part of this crisis. We want those people to know we welcome them on our teams until things return to normal and their past employer is able to bring them back,” Amazon executive Dave Clark wrote in a blog post on Monday.

The online retail giant said it will also increase the hourly pay of warehouse and delivery workers in the US, Europe, and Canada.

Amazon
Amazon plans to hire 100,000 new full and part-time staff across the US in its fulfilment centres and delivery network as more and people are relying on online deliveries for their daily needs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wikimedia Commons

In the U.S., Amazon will be adding an additional $2 per hour worked through April from its current rate of $15/hour or more, depending on the region, 2 pounds per hour in the UK, and approximately 2 euros per hour in many EU countries.

“This commitment to increased pay through the end of April represents an investment of over $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the U.S., Europe, and Canada,” Clark said, adding that it has taken measures to promote social distancing in the workplace and taken on enhanced and frequent cleaning to keep people healthy.

ALSO READ: Online Travel Booking Giant MakeMyTrip Waives Off Fee For Processing Cancellation, Rescheduling Requests

The number of coronavirus infections in the US climbed to nearly 4,000 with more than 65 people dying of the disease. (IANS)