The most unusual OSINT guide you’ve ever seen. This article is intended for bored professionals only!
Today I would like to talk about how to become a good OSINT investigator, but to continue the conversation I would like to make a small disclaimer — I will tell you only some aspects because the topic is very vast and I can not describe everything in a single guide, however, I will try to show you the way and how to pass this path.
This essay is intended to be instructional! Consider your actions carefully or you will be prosecuted or worse! Always keep in mind Ethics & related Laws — like GDPR, etc… You should not romanticize OSINT and on-chain investigations in the same manner that individuals often romanticize hacking and warfare, I highly encourage you!
It is also crucial to note that OSINT is merely another means to learn about the world around you and is not a way to “get paid instantly.” Always take a break to recharge! Your health & mind are important! Read:
This information does not make you better or worse. Humanity as a species has a proclivity to adapt to its surroundings, which, as we all know, begins with knowledge, observations, and methodology. Take care of yourself, consider the consequences of your actions, and respect the privacy of others. Do not cross red lines!
Always think twice before acting, follow the law, and follow the OpSec rules. If you want to help or conduct social investigations but lack experience, please reach out to more experienced people so that you do not harm the victims or those attempting to save them.
In my articles, on the other hand, I reveal a different application of OSINT, inspired by due diligence and civil financial intelligence, with a focus on civilian applications. That is my vision, which I hope you will embrace…
To begin with, I want to say that I will consider OSINT as a set of skills or a mindset, because it can be directly related to doxing, military GEO-INT performed by a security company employee or just media OSINT performed by a VC fund employee in order to find new projects for investment, taking the theory of handshakes as a basis…
…Or even a crypto-forensics specialist investigating a major Web3.0 hack case. In other words, it can be used in all spheres of life because it is only a method of working with, assessing and ranking information — do not ever forget that we are all living in the Information Era.
All of what I said above you can develop in yourself, but the essence of all directions is the same — the ability to notice valuable information, anomalies, see the differences, carefully analyze the facts and build a logical chain — while being in the flow of information.
Start up from checking out your own info and your own data: make an OSINT research against yourself. Collect all data, visualize it, then, erase — with using SERM/ORM techniques.
I would like to give you the first lesson, all resources which I will advise you — I studied by myself earlier:
First, let’s break down such a concept as mind-mapping. It is very important to teach how to sort information according to different criteria, I believe you can practice sorting absolutely any information you’d like!
Didn’t everyone make cheat sheets at school? It’s time to do it again, because in the future it should evolve into a Maltego skill!
I can also recommend that you turn to an interesting subculture that is suitable for introverts! I am sure that everyone is interested in various strange phenomena in one way or another. Immerse yourself in a net-stalking environment!
Sometimes ordinary people were able to solve crimes which the police could not solve for years with OSINT and GEOINT alone (I could put in here links to subreddits, movies and news but since you and I are now doing OSINT I advise you to find it on your own).
The main thing to remember is your health, it is above all, do not let your principles be shaken by what you see. You are an observer! Here well helps to understand the psychology of SCP researchers (when nothing is clear, but the scientific method helps to put everything in its place).
Keep in mind that in this part of the Global Internet (I mean OSINT in general, not only the Net-stalking), the percentage of people who are actively looking for problems or need to express their emotions is no different from other places!
So, follow OpSec rules and don’t make too many mistakes. Conduct your activities from a separate, isolated device. Study:
Once you can distinguish the information, sort it out then the next thing you can do is start practicing. As you know, good practice requires good motivation!
Good training materials:
Here is a very good brain-stretching game will help to train associative thinking — a very important skill for anyone in OSINT:
When I was young we played «5 steps till Ragnarok» — the goal was to find the page about this myth in 5 steps (5 clicks) from any random Wikipedia page! 🙂
twitter.com/UKOSINT — news, tools, jokes
twitter.com/dutch_osintguy — famous specialist, speaker
twitter.com/jakecreps — posts awesome tools every Thursday
twitter.com/OSINTtechniques — follow the Digital Bread Crumbs
twitter.com/OSINTHK — volunteers using OSINT
A global OSINT Community — OSINT Community from France
twitter.com/OSINT_Research — tools and awesome data
twitter.com/OSINTtechniques — tools and awesome data
twitter.com/OsintJobs — jobs in OSINT
www.reddit.com/r/OSINT — the biggest thematic subReddit
Some will enjoy analyzing images, satellite images, calculating time and place from the angle of shadows from a photo, or measuring mountain peak size in order to perform private detective investigations.
Or, let’s say, doing OSINT in crypto, for example, in which case your motivation will be money and self-fulfillment…
You may even want to de-anonymize telegram users (read this channel) or, conversely, join counter-OSINT bros. But in doing so, I urge you not to forget the key skills of information retrieval, information analytics, and information application…
I’ll highlight some basic advice for you — evaluate information according to different criteria, always know your “base settings” — it’s good for the mental health, the things you find shouldn’t ruin your foundations! Practice it, do it in your daily life, apply OSINT where it seems un-obvious like mentioned below:
Join communities, of course and chat, chat! Above I’ve only mentioned English-speaking communities but there are also local ones, do some research on your own.
I’m 100% sure in you! You will succeed! Do you like to hang out with friends? If so, then try playing Dozor or Encounter (or any NightGame based on codebreaking or geolocation or Escapology or Lock-Picking) together!
Carefully study these resources and come back to them as you journey through the world of the hornets, don’t forget the roots. This article does not answer questions, but rather raises some rhetorical questions to encourage you to think about something!
Since this is an atypical guide, I think it’s worthwhile to offer you a list of TV shows and movies that I think involve OSINT in one way or another:
I would see it as learning a foreign language. Okay, you have learned it and come to a country where it is spoken to live. But everyone there knows this language… So it’s important to know something else in addition.
Usually know how to write articles, work with an audience, or be a lawyer. Different approaches require different skills and mind-sets!
More tools (random) to use in work:
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