Not only did OSINT assist with accurate news reporting, it also helped the civilians on the ground make well-informed decisions and escape combat zones.
A personal highlight for me has been generally seeing my career grow in OSINT and now finally co-founding my own OSINT company. I am definitely excited to see where things go in 2023.
I think as a more general highlight, the work people have been doing using OSINT to document what is happening in Ukraine is incredible. It isn’t one I have kept very close tabs on or got involved in personally but I always see posts about it and it seems like incredible work is being done by the OSINT community every day.
I think similar to last year, OSINT is becoming much more popular now and more people are getting into it. I see this a lot being in the OSINT Curious Discord server, there are constantly new people joining every single day from all over the world which is really nice to see.
Something I have mixed opinions on though is that I have seen many videos on TikTok now of people sharing OSINT techniques and resources. Some are really good videos and show things such as advanced Google searching which can really help people with their every day lives and whatever jobs they may have. However, some share things like Dehashed, and while this is shared a lot in our communities, it is a bit more isolated here, typically only people who are searching for this type of content will see it. The TikTok algorithm shows these videos to all different kinds of people randomly. If you go through the TikTok comments of such videos, it is clear how different their audience is on there and it is just worrying if kids (or anyone) will go using that to hack their friends or even companies thinking it is funny or cool because people are showing off these resources with no thought or warning as to the consequences.
There have been a good few. What I will mention here though is I have most enjoyed finding new types of public records. It is incredible what websites are out there that open up portals to finding totally new public record information. For example in the UK, it is quite common knowledge that you can find birth records, marriage records and similar things. However, there are also records for anyone certified as a plumber, most specialised medical practitioners, and so many more. It is worth experimenting with search terms like “use this search form to find your”, “required fields”, inurl: aspx, and anything else that you commonly see on pages with search forms to help you find more that may be unknown but that allow you to find really useful information.
I think a lot will develop with new AI technology. Everyone is currently talking about ChatGPT and going crazy over how good it seems to be, but at the moment it isn’t even working on full power. So I think there will be a lot of development with new ideas utilising AI in OSINT. A lot is always happening with crypto too so there may be big changes in the blockchain OSINT space. Who knows what will end up happening with Twitter at this rate, there may be big shifts in the social media people use so there will be a lot of learning to do for investigating new platforms that come up. This is all good though, it helps to keep us on our toes I suppose.
https://twitter.com/AccessOSINT / The OSINT Group (TOG)
This is a great project. It will always be interesting seeing how OSINT changes each year from everyone’s different perspectives and I really appreciate being a part of it :)