What was your OSINT highlight of 2020?
Launching the OSINT Dojo at the end of 2020 was my highlight for the year. I wanted to help the influx of new OSINTers we were seeing while also providing them a list of challenges so that they had a road map for improving their skillsets and interacting with the overall community while they learned the basics.
What emerging (good or bad) trends did you notice over the past year?
Last year we saw an increase in the number of people interested in learning about OSINT and OSINT techniques, which is great. However, the reliance on collection tools rather than intelligence methodologies continues to be a reoccurring trend, especially among newer analysts. With the increase in availability and interest, the use of OSINT tools and methodologies to doxx, harass, or target others remained an ongoing challenge as well.
Any favorite tool or technique that you tried in 2020?
AWS Lambda was something that I found myself leveraging more to improve my current OSINT workflows. I create my OSINT Python scripts as usual and then use Lambda triggers to run them at specified intervals.
How do you see the OSINT landscape changing in 2021?
2021 will see OSINT continue to go mainstream. We are already seeing this with recent events at the US Capitol building as well as thanks in part to COVID lockdowns and the more accessible virtual TraceLabs events. People currently have more time at their disposal and many turned to online sleuthing as a way to learn new skills and keep busy.
Anything else you’d like to add about The State of OSINT?
As the OSINT community grows we must continue to encourage newcomers to learn, explore, and create while simultaneously ensuring that we also stress the importance of using OSINT for positive endeavors rather than malicious ones.