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?
It’s hard to pick one but I really like the way that journalists continue to use OSINT to tell compelling stories. BBC Africa Eye’s “Game of Drones” documentary about drone strikes in Libya was a particularly good example.
For me personally the highlight was starting to teach the SEC487 OSINT class for SANS. It’s a great privilege to teach OSINT methods to the students and watch as their skills improve.
What emerging (good or bad) trends did you notice over the past year?
I think more people are beginning to develop custom OSINT tools to help automate and scale their research. Once upon a time there were just tools like The Harvester, Spiderfoot, and Recon-NG but now it’s hard to keep up with the number of custom tools that people develop.
On the downside there is the eternal battle against shoddy investigative work. Gathering data has never been easier but sound analysis is still as challenging as ever. You can see this manifested in some of the COVID data science community, where data is often used to confirm biases or selected only to support views held on other grounds.
Any favorite tool or technique that you tried in 2021?
Too many to choose from, but learning how to write more complex Python tools and combining them with technologies like Docker to build powerful OSINT tools has been one of my favourite challenges this year. Being able to automate data gathering leaves much more time for analysis.
How do you see the OSINT landscape changing in 2022?
It’s hard to predict the future, but I think that the appetite for quality OSINT training will continue to grow. Many organizations are realising the benefit of hiring skilled intelligence analysts the jobs market for people with good analysis skills seems to be growing.
I also feel like more people are making and sharing their own custom OSINT tools and resources. I hope this continues through the next year.
Promote yourself! Do you have a blog / Twitter account / Company that you’d like to share with the community?
I’m also part of OSINT Curious at all our articles and resources can be found at www.osintcurio.us.
All the details for SANS SEC487 OSINT class are here: