(WIRED) — Every year careless hackers, cyberstalkers and others are undone by the digital trails they leave behind for law enforcement to collect and trace back to them.

But who would have thought the nation’s top spy chief would be undone so easily by digital footprints left behind in e-mail?

In the irony of ironies, the distinguished career of CIA Director and former Afghanistan war commander David Petraeus appears to have come unhinged after authorities traced the location of the sender of threatening e-mails that were written from an anonymous e-mail account and sent to a woman in Florida.

Authorities say the location data connected to the e-mails and the e-mail account from which they were sent, helped them identify the sender as Petraeus’ biographer, Paula Broadwell. This helped them search other e-mail accounts owned by Broadwell, including a Gmail account she used, which led them to the affair with Petraeus, according to The Wall Street Journal.

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.