US soldiers stationed in Europe may have accidentally revealed information about the United States’ nuclear weapon stockpile when they used flashcard apps to help them memorize details about the information, according to a report by open-source intelligence outlet Bellingcat.
Foeke Postma, a researcher at Bellingcat, wrote that the soldiers used study apps such as Chegg, Cram, and Quizlet to create flashcards storing information about bases in Europe likely to have US nuclear weapons, secret codes, passwords, and other security details. . It seems they forgot to set the settings for the apps to ‘private’ so that their usernames and photos were publicly accessible, and since some soldiers used the same photos as on their LinkedIn profiles, that wouldn’t have happened. According to Postma, it is difficult to link them to the nuclear information.
Why the soldiers used unsecured study apps to memorize the information was unclear. Postma contacted officials from the US Department of Defense, NATO and European Command several weeks before publishing his report and the flashcards containing the sensitive information have since been removed (although they may still be visible on the Wayback Machine archive site). , as Motherboard reported).
The study apps did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday. An email to the Department of Defense asking if the soldiers involved could face disciplinary action was not immediately returned on Saturday.