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?
Planning and building OSINT challenges was a major highlight of my public-facing work this year.
Seeing analysts find new and unique ways to solve these challenges is always eye-opening to me. This is especially true when I build the challenge expecting it to only be able to be solvable using a specific tool or technique and then a user finds an additional way to get the correct answer in a completely unrelated manner.
What emerging (good or bad) trends did you notice over the past year?
One positive emerging trend I observed in 2021 was the increase in OSINT analysts building new things, whether websites,
blogs, tools, workflows, or diagrams.
The idea that those in our field are only able to investigate is quickly changing as more and more analysts take up coding and other technical endeavors to bolster their “traditional” investigative capabilities.
Any favorite tool or technique that you tried in 2021?
Inspect element continues to be one of my favorite techniques when really digging deep into infrastructure owned by a target. Everything from code comments to file names, analytic ids, and more can be found here and are often forgotten about when uploaded to the internet.
Note: All instances in which I leveraged this technique occurred outside the jurisdiction of the State of Missouri.
How do you see the OSINT landscape changing in 2022?
Privacy continues to be a major focus for many users on the internet, and for good reason. As new platforms, technologies, and techniques continue to assist users in obfuscating their identity or removing their data from online platforms, I expect that age-old techniques will soon become unusable. This will generate a need for analysts to test and create new techniques that can function even under these less than ideal conditions.
Do you have a blog / Twitter account / Company that you’d like to share with the community?
www.osintdojo.com is where I organize all my OSINT resources and where I host the list of challenges for new OSINT analysts looking to improve their skills and break into the field.
Anything else you’d like to add about The State of OSINT?
OSINT, like most things, is constantly changing and evolving. Experienced analysts should never feel that they are in a
position where they know everything there is to know about a topic.
Likewise, those fresh to the field should never feel like they have nothing new to contribute. I’ve learned just a much, if not more, from those new to the field than I could have ever taught them.