Top secret US Department of Defense documents leaked online and widely shared on social media. The documents reveal U.S. intelligence activities on several allies such as South Korea and Israel, as well as Ukrainian combat assessments. And strangely enough, these documents can be traced back to a very unlikely source: the Minecraft Discord server.
According to CNN, the 53 leaked documents contain information from mid-February to early March and show weaknesses in “Ukrainian weapons, air defenses, battalion size and readiness.” The document also reveals US knowledge of how infiltrated the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Wagner Group. The source of the leak is unknown, but open source intelligence company Bellingcat (via IGN) has written a pretty good article online about where and when the leak first occurred.
A larger leak picked up by the mass media started on a Russian Telegram channel in April, while an earlier leak from March first started on Discord. Specifically, his Discord channel dedicated to recreating entire planets called “Minecraft Earth Maps”.
As with any leak in the gaming community, it all started with an altercation. While they were arguing about the Ukraine war, someone else casually walked in and said, “Look, there’s a leaked document.”
The same user who casually dropped 10 top-secret documents on his Minecraft channel later claimed to have found them on the WowMoy Discord server, a channel dedicated to Filipino YouTubers. Bellingcat believes the documents were first retrieved by his Discord community called “Thug Shaker Central” and date back to January, but that server has since gone down.
This isn’t the first time the gaming community has leaked classified military documents, but it’s the first time the Minecraft server has been the source. Usually it’s people discussing it on the War Thunder forums, where the leaked documents concern classified performance statistics for fighter planes or main battle tanks. The first was a document about the British Challenger 2 tank, then the information about the Chinese tank. Most recently, it was a limited technical assessment of the F-16 fighter and his AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. War Thunder became a breeding ground for military leaks, and Raytheon was believed to have listed the game as a potential employee security risk, which has since been debunked.
I had no idea that Minecraft was in the same realm as War Thunder, but I think this shows how far gamers can go to settle disputes online.
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