Classified F-16/F-15 papers leaked in game made by Russian brothers

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY — Within 24 hours, classified documents about the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15E Strike Eagle were leaked online to gamers. On January 17, 2023, documents containing information about the AIM-120 air-to-air missile appeared on the WarThunder game forum. On January 18, again in the same forum, a lot of limited data appeared about another American fighter – the F-15E Strike Eagle.

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In a newly created thread on the game’s forum, information about the AIM-120 missile first appeared. This missile is part of the equipment of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the topic concerns precisely the way the missile is used by the fighter. The author of the forum commented that he found documents about the early tests of the AIM-120 and how it will be used by the F-16.

The forum author posted the proof documents. Subsequently, they [the documents] were removed from the forum. The moderator who removed them says the reason for doing so is the fact that these documents contain information “not intended for export”.

Moderator actions

This action of the moderator caused a heated discussion among the forum participants. Although the documents are marked “secret”, they [forum participants] claim that the moderator has no right to remove them from the comments, since the documents’ confidentiality has expired. Despite objections, the forum moderator did not put the documents back on display.

The developer of the game is the company Gaijin Entertainment. It turns out that this is not the first time that such sensitive information has been published among the comments in various threads around the forum. Moderators are often forced to delete shared documents. The company changed the rules for sharing such information in 2021. Despite the changed rules and pleas from the game developers to cease any posting of sensitive information, it continues.

The latest document released is from today, January 18th, which again concerns sensitive information regarding the F-15E Strike Eagle. This information is reported as an update on 01-18-2023, 15:30 [UTC +3] by AeroTime.aero

Reason for the leak of the papers

As paradoxical and almost comical as it may sound, the main reason why the participants in the WarThunder forums publish the secret documents because they are not satisfied with the design of the aircraft and weapons in the game. They want more realistic PC objects, so they decide it’s best to supply the game developers with original secret documents to fix their graphics and design.

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Photo credit: Military Today

About WarThunder

WarThunder is a historical game in which players fight each other using different weapon systems from the past and present. Gaijin Entertainment says that they never use real classified documents to model their in-game computer images. Also, the company says that whenever such information appears in the forum, it is deleted.

Gaijin Entertainment is a Hungarian electronic game company. Its headquarters are located in Budapest. The company was originally founded in Russia in 2002 by Russian brothers Anton and Kirill Yudintsev. In 2015, the company moved to Budapest. At the moment, it is estimated that 200 people work in the company.

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