I want to get back into OSINT now that I’ve had a chance to step away for a while and gather my thoughts a bit. I guess I should start by saying that I’ve never worked in OSINT. What I did do is read and dabble in OSINT and I also took a couple of courses and then worked through about 50% of another (very long) course before stopping. Before I talk about how I’m going to get back into it, I should talk about why I stopped.

  1. I was overwhelmed by the amount to learn. – In many ways, OSINT (outside of government intelligence) is a relatively tiny niche in the world of Cybersecurity, and yet it is a huge field all of its own. The more I read, the more that I needed to read and I ran into it so fast that I didn’t give myself a chance to really grow from the basics because there is so much of it that just comes naturally to me.

  2. I was overwhelmed by the subject matter. – I want to do good with the skills that I have rather than just collect a paycheck however a lot of OSINT investigations go into some very dark area especially related to children. The idea of working on a case like that really bothers me to the core. I have to ask myself honestly if this is something that I want to do and if I can tolerate it mentally.

  3. I don’t know if I can move into OSINT without starting my career over again. – I’ve already had at least one major career reboot in my life and for a few years life was pretty difficult after taking > 50% paycut. I’m not a newbie anymore when it comes to my career and I’m not young. I can’t afford to start over again making barely over minimum wage.

There are other reasons such as my own emotional state at that time because I let my former job destroy me mentally. I also didn’t have the drive to study and when I did, I felt strangely like I might screw something up especially when doing CTF challenges. I do not normally feel that way about IT stuff. I will gladly break an OS and reinstall it if it means I can learn something new, so why did I freeze up when doing a CTF?

How is this reboot going to work?

I’m going to start by start small. My plan is to read something short every day, write a few notes, and then move on to the next thing. I don’t want to feel like I’m in over my head again.

The goal right now is to learn enough to pass my first OSINT certification exam. I’ll probably blog more here and on social media so I move forward.