Surprisingly – and I mean that without an ounce of hyperbole, I’m amazed– happened again. For the third time, according to the UK Defense Journal (opens in new tab)Classified military documents were posted on the forums for War Thunder, Gaijin Entertainment’s free vehicular war game, because a player was upset that some small aspect of the simulation was wrong.
The latest leak of secret military information on a video game forum – a genuinely crazy phrase to type, believe me – is an image of the DTC10-125 tungsten penetrator and a technical document outlining its specifications. Unlike the two previous leaks, which revealed information about the British challenger 2 (opens in new tab) and French Leclerc (opens in new tab) main battle tanks, this one is about Chinese hardware: The DTC10-125 is a high-velocity 125mm non-explosive round fired by Chinese Type 96 and Type 99 MBTs, described by the UK Defense Journal as “one of the PLA’s [People’s Liberation Army’s] main tank kill rounds.”
What makes the whole thing even more mind-boggling is that, according to Nobleman Swerve in resetera (opens in new tab)it is possible that the commission of this extremely serious crime was entirely unnecessary.
“The game has recently closed a publicly accessible development server that previewed the upcoming content release,” they wrote. “The thing about these development servers is that the values for things like armor, penetration, or flight models are often placeholders subject to change in the final version.
“So what happens is that the developer added this shell to the server but copied/pasted the values from the previous version as a placeholder. This poster saw this, freaked out and went ahead and posted betrayal to correct what is publicly communicated as placeholder values.”
Once is an accident, as the saying goes; twice is a coincidence. But three times, and man, you really have to start thinking that maybe governments all over the world need to start offering “confidentiality” refresher courses for their tankers.
The post has since been removed, and Gaijin asked its players – again! – not to share classified military information on their forums.
For the record, treason is an incredibly serious crime, punishable by death in most countries. But it’s also really funny when you do it on the War Thunder forums.