In October, we’re diving into OSINT: Open-Source Intelligence. Information that’s available and legal for anyone to access.
Here’s the caveat: When it comes to open-source information, it’s a jungle out there. Think about what a jungle IS: a place of mind-boggling abundance, teeming with more species of plant, animal, insect, microorganism, and fungus than modern science has yet to name.
You could argue there’s maybe a little too much. Somewhere in all that lushness, there may be a cure for cancer just waiting to be harvested. But how on earth will you find it? And how will you know it when you see it?
Also, there are giant anacondas in there. We’d call that a barrier to entry.
You can see we’re planning to stretch the whole jungle / Internet analogy as far as we humanly can. Bear with us while we draw a few parallels:
|Crazy biodiversity||Crazy biodiversity|
|Difficult to navigate||Difficult to navigate|
|Cannot always see forest for trees||Cannot always see forest for trees|
|Sometimes kind of scary||Sometimes kind of scary|
|Perils include anacondas, piranhas, poisonous frogs, and a thing called a “black caiman”||Perils include trolls, conspiracy theorists, romance scammers, and your crazy Aunt Sheila on Facebook|
|BUT you might get lucky and see an epic jaguar-caiman fight||BUT you might get lucky and see an epic cat-saves-boy video|
If you’re just getting started as an OSINT researcher, as with any journey of exploration, you may need a knowledgable guide the first time in. This month, we’ll share the expertise of some longtime OSINT spelunkers and searchers, from basic to advanced-level tips. If you’re curious, send us your questions. And if you’re a proverbial Dr. Livingstone already, we hope you’ll share a few details of your journey.
One helpful tool in sorting through the thickets of data: the proprietary databases many investigators use to help nail down addresses and personal data of folks we’re seeking. I like to think of those databases as navigational aids: they don’t get us where we’re going on their own, but they may help point the way.
Note: Our October sponsor is idiCORE, a proprietary database that’s new to a lot of us. A few of our colleagues have test-driven this tool, and they’ll share what they’ve learned. Also, save this date: on October 22, at 11:30am CDT, we’ll host our free monthly webinar, featuring CFE Emmanuelle Welch of French Connection Research. She’ll talk in detail about her experiences using idiCore in her investigations.
And now, here’s the weekly briefing: