Posted BY: OAN Brooke Mallory
According to open-source intelligence specialists, a damning trove of Pentagon leaks initially appeared to have been released on a video game chat service Discord in an effort to win a debate about the conflict in Ukraine.
Discord is a chat program geared for gamers and users who do not want to be censored. Ten of the papers were released on one server dubbed “Minecraft Earth Map” as early as March 4th, a month before they appeared on the other servers.
The strange origin of the leak may seem uncommon, but it is not the first time a gaming conflict has resulted in an intelligence breach, with the overlapped communities posing issues for both gamers and military systems.
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Last week, documents revealing estimated casualties in the Bakhmut theatre of combat started to circulate on public social networks, revealing the existence of the leaked cache.
Among the Ukraine war observers were two copies of those documents, one of which had been hastily digitally edited to understate Russian losses and overestimate Ukrainian ones. One, with the accurate numbers, came via a leak to the anonymous image board site 4chan.
A second set of documents, which also contained the modified images, was reportedly circulating on “pro-Russian” Telegram channels.
However, neither was the original source. The data had been disseminated in private Discord chatrooms before they were ever made public on the internet.
“After a brief spat with another person on the server about Minecraft Maps and the war in Ukraine, one of the Discord users replied: ‘Here, have some leaked documents’ – attaching 10 documents about Ukraine, some of which bore the ‘top secret’ markings,” said Aric Toler, an analyst at the research group Bellingcat.