According to reports, a simple misspelling led to the sending of millions of emails related to the US military to Mali, a West African nation that is allied with Russia. This disaster lasted up to ten years, according to a Financial Times report. It is unclear how this occurred, but it appears that people regularly typed.ML, the country code for Mali, instead of the military’s.MIL domain, to their recipient’s email address.
According to Johannes Zuurbier, a Dutch businessman hired to oversee Mali’s domain, this has been going on for at least ten years. And despite his continuous attempts to alert the US authorities, he stated that. Zuurbier is said to have intercepted 117,000 misdirected emails since January alone, some of which he believes include critical information about the US military.
According to the investigation, a large number of the emails contain personal information such as tax returns, names of ship crew members, lists of military base employees, information about identity documents, lists of military base personnel, and more.
Military personnel, travel brokers who work with the US military, US intelligence, private contractors, and other people sent some of the emails.
The report uses General James McConville, the chief of staff of the US Army, as an example and claims that an email from earlier this year apparently contained the travel schedule for his visit to Indonesia. A “full list of room numbers” and “details of the collection of McConville’s room key at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta” were included in the email.
What the DoD said
Tim Gorman, a spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of Defence, wrote a statement to The Verge saying, “The Department of Defence (DoD) is aware of this issue and takes all unauthorized disclosures of Controlled National Security Information or Controlled Unclassified Information seriously.” According to Gorman, emails sent to Mali from.mil domains are “blocked” and the sender is informed that they need to confirm the email addresses of their intended recipients.
However, he noted that this does not prevent other government organizations or others collaborating with the US government from sending emails inadvertently to addresses in Mali.
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