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Thousands of potentially secret US military emails are being sent to an African country due to typos

A decade-long blunder on the part of the US military may have taken a serious turn that could see the forces now risk sharing sensitive information with countries like Russia.

Over the last week alone, nearly 1,000 messages were accidentally sent to email addresses ending in .ml – a domain that represents the African nation of Mali – instead of .mil military domains, due to a simple one-character typo.

As such, the Dutch entrepreneur, Johannes Zuurbier, contracted with managing the .ml domain, has issued a stark warning to the US just days ahead of a new and emerging threat.

US military emails snafu

Zuurbier, who has collected around 117,000 misdirected messages since January, wrote earlier this month to the US government warning of the potential consequences: “This risk is real and could be exploited by adversaries of the US.”

With the 10-year domain management contract set to end on Monday, access to the .ml domain is set to be transferred to Malian authorities, who will be able to access misdirected emails intended for .mil recipients. With Mali having close political, economic, and military ties to Russia, Zuurbier is concerned that sensitive US information could end up in the wrong hands.

While none of the emails are marked as classified, their contents are said to include x-rays, medical data, identity document information, crew lists for ships, staff lists at bases, maps of installations, photos of bases, naval inspection reports, contracts, criminal complaints against personnel, internal investigations into bullying, official travel itineraries, bookings, and tax and financial records. 

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to TechRadar Pro’s request for comment on the matter. Any update will be posted here.

Via Financial Times

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