Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Monday July 19, @09:18AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ready-fire-aim dept.

Accuracy at Any Cost? Gamer Leaks British Military Secrets to Russia-born Company to Prove its Tank Model is Wrong

Accuracy at any cost? Gamer leaks British military secrets to Russia-born company to prove its tank model is wrong:

A funny and potentially criminal episode unfolded this week on the forums of 'War Thunder', a popular competitive video game in which players take control of various real-life military vehicles. Projects like this one attract the attention of accuracy nerds, who push designers to get every little detail right.

It seems one such person may have breached the UK Official Secrets Act, by leaking a portion of the still-classified manual for the Challenger 2 main battle tank. On Wednesday, the user posted on the forum a link to excerpts from a Challenger 2 AESP (Army Equipment Support Publication) as he argued his point to developers.

The alleged leak was reported by the UK Defence Journal on Friday. The military-focused website said the poster identifies as a Challenger 2 commander and may be stationed at the Royal Tank Regiment in Tidworth, England.

Forum moderators took issue with the link. The British MoD confirmed to them the classified status of the manual, prompting the link's removal and a warning that disseminating the excerpts "can carry up to a 14-year prison sentence if prosecuted." Some users said they hoped the in-game model of the vehicle would still be fixed, but others pointed out that the game's designers refuse to use reference materials that are not legally available to the public.

Classified Challenger Tank Specs Leaked Online for Videogame

Classified Challenger tank specs leaked online for videogame:

A user identifying as a Challenger 2 commander posted specific excerpts from a Challenger 2 AESP (Army Equipment Support Publication, sort of like a user manual) to show game developers that they "didn't model it correctly".

The user identifies as a make[sic] in Tidworth with a history of "Tanks & AFV's, CR2 Tank Commander, AFV Instr, D&M Instr, Gunnery Instr, Former ATDU". It should be noted that Tidworth is home to the Royal Tank Regiment who operate Challenger 2 tanks.

Anyway, it is understood that the excerpts from the document had their 'UK RESTRICTED' label crossed out and a stamp of 'UNCLASSIFIED' added, as well as having various parts fully blanked. One forum user remarked that "the cover for instance had basically everything except CHALLENGER 2 blacked out".

[Gamemaker] Gaijin refused to deal with the apparently still classified documents. Saying through through their community manager:

"Before any discussion, handling or bug reports are even made, proof of this documents[sic] declassification will be required as well as where it was sourced form[sic]. If it is declassified, it should be available to the public. Last time such a document was shared that was claimed to be "unclassified" it was in fact still classified and was confirmed that it should never have been shared. We make it very clear that we will not handle any source material unless it is publically[sic] available and fully declassified with the rights to prove that."


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Reply to Article Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MIRV888 on Monday July 19, @09:56AM (3 children)

    by MIRV888 (11376) on Monday July 19, @09:56AM (#1157817)

    NATO doesn't have many 'secrets' from Russia or China.
    Their intelligence services are pretty much admins for our secure information at this point.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by dltaylor on Monday July 19, @10:09AM (2 children)

      by dltaylor (4693) on Monday July 19, @10:09AM (#1157824)

      Some of the documents in my custody "way back in the day" (pre-USSR breakup) were of varying levels of classified. Losing any of them was a VERY BIG DEAL. The joke then was that we could just ask the Soviets for a copy, if we needed one. I really hoped that everyone realized that it was a joke. You would have been indebted to some lethal people, and, likely, OUR people would have found out, anyway.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @05:13PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @05:13PM (#1157944)

        Intelligence is weird, too, in that the "I know you know I know you know you swapped those glasses" is a real thing.

        Let's assume the Russians already had the manual. Even if that were the case, they would still need to act like they didn't in some circumstances, lest the expose that "Secretary Smith has been on our payroll for years and passed us a copy." Now that they have a known, obvious reason why they have it, it's much easier to act upon that information.

        See also: Parallel Construction.
        See also: The Coventry Conspiracy (which even if it is not true, illustrates the point): https://pjhollis123.medium.com/coventry-blitz-conspiracy-d7876cda4cb7 [medium.com] and https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-11486219 [bbc.com]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @09:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @09:41PM (#1158055)

          I can't imagine working with a set of bigger douchebags than those in govt intelligence. Thinking they're so smart withholding info to see if you're withholding info etc. In fact, sounds a lot like university faculty too.

  • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @11:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @11:10AM (#1157838)

    Based. Also our militaries need mechs.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @11:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @11:43AM (#1157844)

    When somebody, anybody, challenges you with wrong data/info, you prove them wrong, no matter what, live or die.

    Be the Geek you want to be.

  • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday July 19, @11:46AM

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday July 19, @11:46AM (#1157845)

    > Last time such a document was shared that was claimed to be "unclassified" it was in fact still classified

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by looorg on Monday July 19, @11:56AM (2 children)

    by looorg (578) on Monday July 19, @11:56AM (#1157848)

    Seems like a very lengthy process to get classified information -- create game that somehow ties into something you want classified information about, hope it becomes really popular, wait for the people with access to become diehardfans and share info to prove that they are right and you are wrong. Mission accomplished.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @01:58PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @01:58PM (#1157874)

      Very long indeed! The game started development in 2009 and reach 1.0 in 2013 IIRC. the game got popular with WW2 planes first, then WW2 tanks... it took years to them to accept expanding the planes and tanks to post WW2 and of course, only recently the more modern planes and tanks are being added (and also added helicopters, coastal and river boats and high sea ship), with the public info they can grab. Even older tanks and planes are always being corrected when a better source is found that proves that some model info is wrong (like original tank manuals vs 20 years later books). So using this method, you can probably get all secret info only when the tanks is already obsolete! :D

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by fraxinus-tree on Tuesday July 20, @09:00AM

      by fraxinus-tree (5590) on Tuesday July 20, @09:00AM (#1158193)

      As a someone having some understanding of the Russian culture: they are pretty much able to do so. Both intentionally and by a "prepared chance". Remember, there is no civilian people in Russia. There are only military and there are paramilitary people.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @01:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, @01:40PM (#1157870)

    Imagine how many leaks happen to the Eastern-European-jew companies built with goyim money and labor. And here you worry about Russians. I believe Russians do not need MBT technology; they got their own developed during the jew-engineered cold war.

(1)