This information was made public in response to a written parliamentary question.
Andrew Murrison, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, said: “The Department of Defense places paramount importance on the security of our people, data and systems. Although all sensitive information is shared via systems designed to prevent such blunders, protocols are in place across all messaging platforms to minimize the risk of such blunders.”
For further clarification, it added: “Investigations are still ongoing, however, so far we have documented fifty-five emails sent to the .ML top domain since January 2022. Among them, it is estimated that fifteen were incorrectly addressed, being intended for a .MIL address. We are convinced that this modest contingent of emails did not contain any element or technical information likely to compromise operational security. Seven of them were transmitted in 2022, and eight in 2023.”
It should be noted that over the past decade, many emails intended for US military .mil addresses were inadvertently redirected to .ml addresses due to a single character error.
This sad event potentially rerouted sensitive data such as medical records, identification documents, and military installation plans, although not all of these mails reached their unintended recipients in .ml format.
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