War Thunder: Disgruntled gamer leaks sensitive F-16 documents

The leak was quickly removed by the gaming forum's moderators.
Loukia Papadopoulos
An illustration of an F-16.jpg
An illustration of an F-16.

Willard/iStock 

Some people take their gaming very seriously. That's what happened when one dismayed War Thunder player posted some restricted documents pertaining to the F-16 on Monday.

This is according to a report by AeroTime. The post was swiftly deleted but not before many people had the chance to view it. Anton Yudintsev, the founder of Gaijin Entertainment, told the media outlet that the documents contained in the post were considered export-restricted and contained information about the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and its use on the F-16.

Illegal and pointless

"We always delete posts containing classified or restricted information from our forum as soon as possible. We forbid our users to share documents like this on our platforms. We remind our users again and again that it's both illegal and pointless, so they should never do that," Yudintsev explained in an emailed comment to AeroTime.

"We never use them in our work, and that policy will never change. Development team does not even look at the contents of the documents, moderators just check if the information on the military vehicle or armament in question is still classified or not. If the answer is a yes, we delete everything ASAP. Our game developers are never exposed to this information or the user posts that accompany the documents, so they are not influenced in any way by these situations," Yudintsev added.

A suspicious post

The post was made by a user called spacenavy90. No word was given as to whether the user was banned for his actions.

At the time of his post, spacenavy90 wrote the following comment: "Interesting thing I found during my research. During early AMRAAM testing, you can see how F-16A would equip the AIM-120 and use TWS on the non-MFD stores control panel SCP."

Classified posts on the game have been quite popular in the past year. The first such incident was reportedly witnessed in 2021 when excerpts from a British Challenger 2 tank user manual were posted on one of the game's forums.

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What was the objective of the now long-banned post? To convince the game's developers to revamp the in-game model of the tank.  

After that first leak, various restricted documents pertaining to French-made Leclerc tanks and Chinese DTC10-125 anti-armor shells were also posted as well as documents regarding China's latest Type 99 tank and the armor layout on the Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopter.   

In all cases, forum moderators rushed to remove the classified documents but there's no telling what damage was done by the leaks. Although the posts indicate a passion for the game by users, they are no doubt troublesome.

It has been reported that Gaijin Entertainment has reached out to its many users and asked them not to indulge in such behavior. Unfortunately, it seems their request has had little impact. The question now becomes: would the gamers heed the appeal?