Online trail exposes name of Yossi Sariel, Israeli intelligence chief responsible for Gaza surveillance

The Guardian today published the name of Yossi Sariel, an Israeli security chief responsible for building the surveillance operation in Gaza. Sariel's identity was traced from the Amazon account associated with a book he obviously authored, which exposed via metadata a Google account under Sariel's full name. The book 'reflects Sariel's ambition to become a "thought leader",' write Harry Davies and Bethan McKernan, but now reflects a more mundane failure of leadership.

The security blunder is likely to place further pressure on Sariel, who is said to "live and breathe" intelligence but whose tenure running the IDF's elite cyber intelligence division has become mired in controversy. Unit 8200… built a vast surveillance apparatus to closely monitor the Palestinian territories. However, it has been criticised over its failure to foresee and prevent Hamas's deadly 7 October assault last year on southern Israel, in which Palestinian militants killed nearly 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped about 240 people. Since the Hamas-led attacks, there have been accusations that Unit 8200's "technological hubris" came at the expense of more conventional intelligence-gathering techniques.

Nazi cartoonist Stonetoss had better anonymity op-sec than the secret head of the IDF's military intelligence unit.

Context: three British military veterans were among the aid workers "mistakenly" executed by the IDF earlier this week. The Guardian also ran an exposé on the IDF's use of AI to identify/justify targets yesterday. Someone has a friend at GHCQ!

Previously: IDF soldiers using selfies from Gaza on Tinder