A few months ago, I wanted to try to practice my OSINT skills by looking up missing people by checking out the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website. One of the people that I was checking on was a 14 year old girl who had been missing for about a week. I started by looking her up on Facebook and found 2-3 Facebook and Instagram accounts a piece. Nothing of them showed much activity.
The 2020 OSINT Handbook published by i-intelligence is the latest edition that is currently on their website. i-intelligence is a training and intelligence advisory firm. The 2020 OSINT Handbook is a 509-page list of web links in PDF format. If you were expecting anything more, then you would be mistaken. It covers topics including social media, message boards, people search sites, and government and real estate sites. Are these links useful?
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.
Geoguessr is an online geography game. That may sound like the most boring thing you’ve ever hear but it’s actually very interesting if you’re a newbie in OSINT. A big part of OSINT is GEOSINT, that is, being able to look at a photo a understanding where it was taken using different techniques. Geoguesser drops you into a Google street view session but without any of Google’s normal map aids such as links, bookmarks, etc and you have a time limit to find yourself on their map.
One thing I’ve been doing as a part of my research into #OSINT as a future occupation is to scope out who is hiring, look up the company’s website and their employees LinkedIn pages to see what experience they have. I don’t use a sock-puppet account for this, though I do have one. I actually want people to see me looking because when I start applying for jobs, I want my name to stick out.