Week in OSINT #2023-05

This week I have a look at the Wayback Machine, some spies in Germany, news from the Twitter front, and more!

It has been an interesting week for me. Loads of meetings, and instead of being in the office a few days, I was on the road for most of the time. Meetings, projects, taskforces, whatever it was, I have had my fair share last week! I don't having such a week once in a while, because doing something different, or work slightly outside my comfort zone, is keeping me on edge. It helps me stay creative, and think outside the box at times when it matters most. What is the same though, is the weekly overview of things I always post at the top of my weekly episodes. Like this one:

  • The Wayback Machine
  • How to Verify?
  • Twitter API
  • BND Spies

Tip: The Wayback Machine

During my recent travels within the realm of the internet, I found a useful page with information on how to use the Wayback Machine. For instance, when linking to a web page from a specific year and month, you can point to that directly within the URL:


Another useful and interesting tip, is that it is possible to hide the navigational toolbar on the top. For that, simply add id_ after the date and time reference in the URL, and the toolbar is removed.

There are more interesting things in this Wiki article, about:

  • Bookmarklets
  • Command line tool
  • Earliest or latest copies

An interesting page, that was aimed at Wikipedia editors to explain them on how to create valid links to the Wayback Machine. But within the OSINT community, these are some welcome tips on how to use this resource.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Using_the_Wayback_Machine

Site: How to Verify?

Julia Bayer from DW sent me a message telling me about a new web-based tool from DW Innovation, called 'How to Verify'. You can see it as a visual representation of the good old OSINT Framework. By visually going over choices regarding possible pivot points, it will show you what tools or sites might be available. What I like most, is the extra information that is given on the right side of the screen, guiding you through parts of the website in question, and giving extra tips. Well done!

Looking for tools that might help your investigation
Looking for tools that might help your investigation

Link: https://www.howtoverify.info

News: Twitter API

IntelLana gave me heads up on a change regarding the Twitter API, because Twitter is going to stop free access to their API. In the past investigators more than once have used this API to gather large amounts of data via this way, to visualize information, spotting patterns, or track disinformation. But other things will be affected too, like third party apps or plugins, to interact with the Twitter backend. It is still possible to 'scrape' Twitter without the need of an API, but if they decide to add detection mechanisms, an important source if information might be lost. Only time will tell how this might affect the OSINT landscape.

Announcement from the official Twitter Dev account
Announcement from the official Twitter Dev account

Link: Twitter Dev announcement

News: BND Spies

The BND is the 'Bundesnachrichtendienst', or the foreign intelligence service of Germany. Last year they were in the news because a spy within their ranks was discovered, followed by the discovery of another one after that. Twitter user 'Fake PhD Investigator' looked at the court documents and found some hints about the identity. After this, he took the liberty to do some online sleuthing on his own. And he managed to follow an online trail of Google reviews, that gave him enough information about locations visited by the suspect in question.

Playing 'wack-a-mole' with Google reviews?
Playing 'wack-a-mole' with Google reviews?

Link: Twitter thread

Link: Article on DW.com


A comic by dnssimple on how DNS works. I wouldn't be able to do my job without this knowledge to be honest! If you want to learn more, there are several more comics and videos here! Thanks for sharing this, 0xtechrock

Video explaining the workings of DNS

Link: https://dnsimple.com/comics

Have a good week and have a good search!

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