Pentagon Accidentally Exposes Americans

David B. Gleason from Chicago, IL, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Monday the Pentagon revealed that a common typo made in the U.S. military has resulted in millions of messages and emails being accidentally sent to Mali, an African country.

This particular issue has been the result of the U.S. military employing a “.MIL”  domain for their emails, however very often this will be mistyped to “.ML” which is Mali’s domain. Due to this mistake sensitive but unclassified information, including tax returns, travel details, and other diplomatic documents for military officers.

The Pentagon acknowledged that there had been an issue relating to the typo, adding that in most cases all email addresses that do not use a “.MIL” domain are usually blocked. In its statement, the Pentagon added that the Department of Defense had been informed about the situation and that they would be putting forth further policies and training to help ensure that emails are not going to end up in the wrong place. Usually, emails are also blocked prior to leaving the “.MIL” domain which means that users will be required to validate that they have entered the correct email address of the recipient before the mail can be sent out.

The statement further noted that there are options for introducing more technical controls that would completely block personal email accounts from being used for those doing government business.

Dutch entrepreneur Johannes Zuurbier, who is responsible for Mali’s domain, revealed to FT earlier this year that they have gathered more than 117,000 emails from within the Pentagon in 2023 alone. He argued that this is a risk that U.S. adversaries could exploit this issue.

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