Classified US Military documents were reportedly leaked on a Minecraft Discord server for an entire month before someone eventually noticed them, according to a recent report by CNN. Apparently, the leaked documents were uploaded on the Discord server just last month and contained information on weapon systems available to Ukraine as well as information regarding Russian casualties.
Timeline of the Leak
The leaked documents appear to have begun gaining some attention only after a user started posting several parts of the sensitive documents to 4Chan. On April 7, some members of the Discord server panicked, suspecting that they might land in trouble for having reposted the documents. However, the original user who shared the documents on March 1 took down their Twitter and Discord accounts shortly after.
US officials are of the opinion that the leaked documents have been edited to falsely indicate a higher number of Ukrainian casualties than occurred in reality. “The fact that unedited and edited – doctored – versions of some files are available online makes me skeptical about who can be behind this”, said Thomas Rid, an expert in state-backed information.
Lack of Reporting and Detection of the Leaked Documents
Researchers at Bellingcat were the first to draw attention to the documents shared on the Discord server. “This sh*t was sitting in a Minecraft Discord server for a month, and no one noticed,” said Aric Toler, a researcher at Bellingcat. It is still unclear how long the documents were actually live on the server, but it is believed no measures were taken to remove them from the platform.
It is uncertain how and why these specific documents were initially uploaded to the Minecraft Discord server. However, given the complexity of the information contained in the documents, it’s clear they must have been uploaded by someone with access to the classified information. The serious consequences of these documents being leaked are not lost on security experts who are questioning why this took so long to come to light.
Possible Russian Involvement
It appears that foreign entities could have been involved in the leaking as the information obtained from the documents could have serious implications for Ukrainian military maneuvers, and providing Russia with critical knowledge of their military strategies. It has been suggested that the leaked documents have been deliberately modified by Russian operatives to create false narratives possibly to help them sow unrest and mistrust between the US and Ukraine.
The unauthorized sharing of classified military documents on a gaming platform is a clear indication of the threats posed by the continuous advancement of technology. The case also raises legitimate concerns regarding the identification and reporting of critical information leaks that could have significant repercussions for national security. It is, therefore, crucial for organizations and individuals with access to sensitive information to prioritize its security and ensure that it is not incompletely safeguarded.