It's one of the most bizarre crimes we have heard of in some time. This week, a 21-year-old man was arrested by US government agents. The man, Jack Teixeira, allegedly leaked hundreds of classified documents to his gaming friends via a Discord server.
The New York Times has more info on this strange case. Teixeira was a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, and was reportedly trained as a "Cyber Transport Systems Journeyman". He managed to get a hold of these classified documents and started sharing them with his friends on a Discord channel starting sometime in October 2022. It's not known exactly how he got access to the leaked material.
A breakthrough in our investigation came when the team identified a Steam profile in Airman Teixeira's name that led to an Instagram profile with photos of the exact location where leaked docs were photographed — a kitchen countertop in his childhood home. https://t.co/XQAZf2kNV7 pic.twitter.com/DWlkN8xmqK— Christiaan Triebert (@trbrtc) April 13, 2023
One of the NYT's reporters, Christiaan Triebert, posted on Twitter that Teixeira has a Steam account that had a link to his Instagram account in his profile. That account had pictures of his childhood home. They included photos of his kitchen that had a countertop that matched the pictures of the same countertop where the leaked documents were photographed. Those papers allegedly included info on Ukraine battle maps and assessments of Russia's military.
Teixeira is now facing charges of violating the Espionage Act, and all because he reportedly wanted to impress his friends in his Discord chat group. The whole situation is arguably an embarrassment for the US military intelligence community, which will likely have to face some big questions on how this person managed to get access to top-secret data in the first place.