Oy vey! Israeli Court Publishes Classified Docs Belonging to Secretive IDF Intel Unit by Mistake

© Photo : Israel Defence ForceIsrael Defense Forces cyberdefence troops. File photo.
Israel Defense Forces cyberdefence troops. File photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.11.2021
The military apparently didn’t notice the leak until being approached by a journalist investigating the matter.
A clerk from the Tel Aviv District Court accidentally put hundreds of top-secret papers associated with a shadowy Israel Defence Force (IDF) intelligence unit engaged in a legal dispute with one of its former officers online, Haaretz reports.
The leaked documents, apparently serious enough to expose information that could harm Israel’s national security, reportedly remained in the public domain for an unspecified period before a Haaretz journalist informed the military about their existence in an inquiry.
The papers reportedly related to a dispute involving a former officer of a secret IDF intelligence technical unit, with the employee said to have taken the military to court after it didn’t renew his contract. The documents, originally submitted to a closed, military court, were resubmitted and put online for everyone to see after the officer took his case to the civilian Tel Aviv District Court.

Despite warnings from the military regarding the files’ sensitive nature, they were tagged as "publicly available" by the Court’s clerk, and made available for viewing to anyone with access to the court’s website, including juicy info about the unit’s organization, its recent operations and sensitive projects. The documents even included the names, addresses and in some cases the phone numbers of officers and civilian personnel working for the military.

An IDF spokesperson confirmed that access to the classified materials was restricted after Haaretz’ request, and said that an internal investigation was conducted.

The court’s administration seem to blame the IDF and the officer in the case, saying its rule for the classification of documents requires one or both parties to make the confidentiality request, otherwise “the file is classified as open to the public, in part in accordance with the principle of the public nature of proceedings.”

It’s not immediately clear whether Israel’s potential adversaries found the files before the Israeli newspaper did. Most countries’ cyber intelligence forces make use of internet-archiving bots which trawl through and collect any and all publicly available information they get from government websites, but it is not known whether such bots could have accessed the Israeli court system without authorization before the relevant information was removed. It’s also possible that foreign intelligence services may have collected the data in an archive, and been alerted about its existence only thanks to Haaretz’ reporting.
The leak follows a separate major security breach late last month by a hacking group calling itself "Moses Staff." The group boasted about penetrating over 165 Israeli servers and 254 websites and amassing over 11 terabytes of data, including detailed information about Israeli troops and defence ministry employees, and Israeli defence companies. Moses Staff reportedly consists of Iranian nationals.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz adjusts his mask during the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem August 1, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.10.2021
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