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The FBI reportedly downloaded CIA hacking tools over Starbucks’s WiFi

Literally nothing surprises me anymore.

starbucks coffee shop with people working
Image: Unsplash

Ah, Starbucks. It’s the place to go for your over-roasted Pumpkin Spice fix, but it also seems that it’s the place to go to download hacking tools. Wait, what?

No joke, that’s apparently what happened when the FBI wanted to download the CIA hacking tools known as Vault 7 that WikiLeaks had been hosting.

The FBI apparently used Starbucks’ WiFi to download a secret CIA spying tool

Apparently, the FBI decided to use Starbucks’ free WiFi to download evidence central to their prosecution of ex CIA analyst, Joshua Schulte. They say it was so it couldn’t be traced back to an FBI network address, which is fair enough. What it also says loud and clear is “anybody could have downloaded these dangerous tools,” since they used an off-the-shelf laptop and public resources.

  • Vault 7” and “Vault 8” as they’re now known, contain hacking tools, and internal guides to make hacking tools for the CIA’s use
  • They were passed to WikiLeaks by Schulte, after he stole the classified information off internal servers
  • WikiLeaks’ editors seem to have redacted the code sections of the Vault 7 documents
  • Schulte is also being prosecuted separately for possessing and distributing child pornography

It’s also interesting to note that it took a year between the FBI identifying Schulte as the leaker, and them downloading the data from WikiLeaks to use as evidence. Does that mean the CIA was reluctant to declassify the documents needed to prosecute? The timing also syncs with WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, being indicted in March 2018, so one trial could be informing the other.

I guess if there’s a moral here it’s: Stay safe kids and don’t download classified information on your home network.

What do you think? Surprised by this news regarding the FBI? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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