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Microsoft president claims Russian intelligence is trying to "penetrate gaming communities"

Brad Smith also says a Russian private military organisation is also using gamer groups to spread information

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The president of Microsoft has claimed that his company has identified Russian intelligence and military groups trying to spread information via games communities.

During an on-stage interview at Semafor's World Economy Summit, Brad Smith was asked about the recent leak of Pentagon documents on a games-centric Discord server, and whether there are leaks and security issues in the gaming world that worry him.

"Well, I'll put gaming in the right context for this. It's not like playing Call of Duty is going to lead to deaths in the real world – I mean, these are video games," he said. "What people are talking about is, around games you have a community of gamers that come together, they talk to each other, including when they're playing a game.

"For the last several months, our digital threat analysis team has been identifying efforts by the Russians to basically penetrate gaming communities… And we've been advising governments about this. It's [Russian private military corporation] The Wagner Group, it's Russian intelligence, and they're using this as a place to get information into circulation.

"That's what happened here. It included the Discord channel around Minecraft, it included others of these [communities]."

Smith added that he believes this is "not the No.1 thing we should worry about" because such groups "are gonna publish information somewhere."

"It just happens [games communities are] a good place for them to get the information into circulation, and ultimately journalists find it," he said.

The leaked Pentagon documents reportedly revealed information regarding the Ukraine war, and the current suspect is believed to be a young gun enthusiast who was part of a games group on Discord.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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