An unexpected security lapse occurred when Moscow City Hall’s website accidentally revealed a list of “special consumers” on the Russian electricity grid, encompassing military and security agency facilities. These “special consumers” require uninterrupted power supply, even during blackouts, and include critical infrastructure like hospitals and major train stations.
However, the leak also exposed the precise locations of military and intelligence agency objects. The Dossier Center, a non-profit investigative project, discovered the breach, which involved a detailed 434-page document titled “Special Group.”
The leaked information contained sensitive details, such as the location of an ammunition depot in the Leningrad region, undercover Federal Protective Service facilities in Moscow, and military unit stations in Russia’s Far East. Even apartment numbers used by spies in Moscow were revealed, highlighting a significant breach of state secrets. Surprisingly, a list of residential addresses uncovered at least six apartment buildings in Moscow assigned to intelligence officers in the Foreign Intelligence Service, Russia’s top external intelligence agency.
While some residents of the listed apartments were found unlikely to be intelligence officers, there is no standardization in list compilation across different regions of Russia.
For example, the list for the Chechen Republic approved by its leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, only included hospitals, schools, and daycare centers, with no mention of military units. In contrast, North Ossetia had objects controlled by the Federal Security Service in nearly every village.
With Russia involved in ongoing hostilities with Ukraine, the Dossier Center even created a map highlighting “the most dangerous places for Russian residents,” indicating the potential radius of damage in case of an attack. This accidental exposure underscores the need for improved data security practices in governmental operations, especially in an era of heightened cyber threats.