Britain’s Ministry of Defense has launched an internal investigation after emails containing classified information were sent to Mali, a close ally of Russia, in a typing error.
The emails were intended for the US military, which uses the domain name “.mil”. However, the officials missed out the letter ‘I’, and the messages were instead sent to the West African nation of Mali, which uses the domain ‘ml’.
The British media reported that the emails did not contain information that could compromise the operational security of the UK.
Mali is a strong Moscow ally and hosts mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group in its fight against rebel groups.
The revelation comes two weeks after US officials confirmed that millions of sensitive US military emails have been accidentally sent to Mali for years due to the same typo.
The unintentional leaks have resulted in the exposure of highly sensitive information, including diplomatic documents, tax returns, passwords and the travel details of top officers.
It happened despite repeated warnings over a decade, with the issue first reported by Dutch internet entrepreneur Johannes Zuurbier, who manages Mali’s country domain.
Zuurbier told the Financial Times that he has collected close to 117,000 misdirected emails from within the Pentagon since January alone and many more in years prior.