Many companies are beginning to figure out how OSINT can benefit them which means lots of opportunities for newcomers.
What was your OSINT highlight of 2021?
Releasing an online class that combines OSINT, SOCMINT and HUMINT and getting to train law enforcement and intelligence professionals to combine and utilize those intelligence disciplines. We developed this class together with Samuel Lolagar @OSINTGeek
Christina Talk at Layer8 conference in 2021
What emerging (good or bad) trends did you notice over the past year?
The use of OSINT is starting to become internationally recognized by businesses and publications worldwide, on a multi-disciplined level (we saw ““The Economist”” featuring OSINT on one of their covers last summer) which is great!
On the downside, this sudden growth has allowed some misinterpretations of OSINT - (e.g. thinking that OSINT is just " advanced googling"), or misuse, due to the lack of clear ethical guidelines. Some people started doxxing others online or conducting and publicizing their own OSINT research by intervening in ongoing investigations, thinking this makes them look “cool” and skilled.
Last, it is always difficult to control whether someone with bad intentions will utilize OSINT to stalk, harass or cause harm to others. We still have to work on those issues as a community.
Any favorite tool or technique that you tried in 2021?
I became a lot more creative with my Dorks and the keywords I use when researching popular social media platforms. They led to content & findings I wouldn’t have come across if I had used “traditional” SOCMINT techniques.
Last, I would advise anyone to use mind maps (XMind is free and has a straight-forward user interface) to help keep track of their intelligence requirements and analysis, and avoid rabbit holes (as much as possible hehe)
How do you see the OSINT landscape changing in 2022?
OSINT will become more popular and we will have more job positions in which good OSINT skills will be required and utilized.
At the same time, I have seen an increase in combining OSINT with HUMINT (Human Intelligence) within certain jobs, especially within the area of investigating and uncovering criminals / criminal organizations. But then again, this is still a niche area (which is a good thing, as there are many ethical considerations around this activity if anyone decides to apply it as a hobby, or not for the right reasons)
Do you have a blog / Twitter account / Company that you’d like to share with the community?
I would encourage everyone to join our @OSINTCurious community and listen to the live streams, podcast episodes, and/or read the blog!
Anything else you’d like to add about The State of OSINT?
Focus on learning to apply good OSINT methodology more than relying on tools.
Become an active member of the -very friendly- OSINT community as we can all learn from each another, aaaaand….stay OSINT Curious!! :)