Millions of US military emails were forwarded to Mali due to a typo. It led to the leakage of confidential information, including diplomatic documents, tax returns, passwords and travel data of senior officers, writes Financial Times.
It’s a domain typo – people sometimes confuse .ML (the country identifier for Mali) with .MIL (the suffix for all US military email addresses).
This problem was reported by the entrepreneur Johannes Zuurbier, a Dutch entrepreneur contracted to manage Mali’s domain. He calls on the US to take this situation seriously, because the risk is real and can be used by the country’s enemies.
Most of the emails are spam. But some contain really sensitive information – data on American servicemen, maps of facilities, photos of bases, etc. For example, one such letter contained the travel itinerary for General James McConville, the US Army’s chief of staff, and his delegation, who were preparing for a trip to Indonesia earlier this year.
Now control over the .ML domain will return to the government of Mali, which works closely with the Russian Federation. So the Malian authorities will be able to get access to the emails sent by mistake.
Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Cmdr Tim Gorman said the Defense Department is aware of the issue and takes seriously all unauthorized releases of controlled national security information or controlled undisclosed information.