Source of Latvian army information leak identified

Defense officials have identified a person involved in leaking text messages which included restricted information, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For!) said in an interview with the LETA news agency November 24.

The minister explained that the leak wasn't due to a cyberattack, but due to human error. A yet unnamed person forwarded text messages meant for internal National Armed Forces use to unauthorized persons. Who received these text messages, and why they were not reported is currently under investigation. The minister said he would not make additional comments while the investigation is ongoing.

At the beginning of October LETA revealed that the Ministry of Defense and National Armed Forces were starting an investigation about a suspected leak in the armed forces internal communications system. The leaked text messages didn't contain classified information, but they were labeled restricted access.

The “Diena” newspaper previously reported that as a result of a computer system monitor error, daily operational information was sent to unauthorized persons over a period of at least a month and a half, possibly longer. The newspaper has screenshots of tens of text messages from “NBS KP” with the date and time of several operational events.

A majority of the texts included information on Russian, military ships, submarines and aircraft, which were spotted near Latvian air and sea borders.

For a long time unknown persons were also receiving much more confidential information, including alerts, combat readiness information and so forth. In one situation these were only training exercises, but “Diena” also said it had more serious texts, which it had chosen not to publish.

The same persons also received information about military personnel involved in various incidents, including those detained for alcohol or narcotic intoxication. There was also information about the movements of unmanned drones flying over or near military objects, it was reported.

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