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Update (Jan. 26, 2023): The author of the debunked Reddit post, which kicked off this whole saga, has posted an apology and confirmed that they made up the entire story.

Original (Jan. 24, 2023): At this point, the fact that military secrets are repeatedly being leaked on the War Thunder forums to win internet arguments and balancing discussions is better known than the military simulation game itself – in the latest series of security breaches, forum users posted restricted information on the American fighter jets F-16 and F-15 and their usage with certain missile types.

Before that, War Thunder players leaked classified information about the British Challenger 2 main battle tank, the French Leclerc main battle tank, the European Tiger attack helicopter, and the Chinese DTC10-125 anti-armor shells. That’s a whole lot of restricted documents that found their way into the public – and it wouldn't be surprising if the military industrial complex had started to take note of that.

Posting on the game’s subreddit, a user nicknamed Nafuwu reported that one of their friends had recently applied for a job at Raytheon, an aerospace and defense company. Working at certain projects there requires getting a security clearance – that’s what you usually need to be allowed to look at the kind of documents that regularly land on the War Thunder forums.

It’s common to interview a candidate’s friends and family about them in the process of clearing them for such an access, so Nafuwu claims they got a call from an investigator who asked questions about their friend. They asked things like “Does he use drugs?” or “Is he a terrorist?” – and also “Does he play War Thunder?”

It does seem plausible that the War Thunder community might have become so notorious for leaking military documents that being part of it now constitutes a potential national security risk. That would be kind of impressive and hilarious.

We've asked Raytheon for comment on this story with a representative of the company stating:

"We only look at a person’s education, employment and criminal history when hiring. We’ve never looked into a person’s video game habits and I can’t imagine a case in which we’d have a concern with any game."

So, playing War Thunder is not considered a security risk as of right now. Anyone striving to find work in this area can go on enjoying their hobby as usual – just take it easy on the forums. And, as usual, don't believe everything you see on Reddit.