Week in OSINT #2024-10

Welcome to another very lengthy update from the world of OSINT, with some Google searches, strategy and a hint of Insta and Snaps...

One of the things I like about open source intelligence (OSINT) and social media intelligence (SOCMINT), is the fact that there never seems to be a dull moment. Every couple of months or so a new platform pops up, some important feature stops working, or access to previous open changes to a paid model. The world of open source information and intelligence community is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date is a constant struggle. Back in 2019 Matthias 'MWOsint' Wilson [ ] wrote how he thought the landscape would look in 2022. In hist article titled The Golden Age of OSINT is over he made some predictions, of which some were correct. But I don't see that the real golden age is over, especially since within the ever changing landscape, one consistent element stayed the same: People are more than ever willing to share information online. And even the best OpSec aware baddies make small mistakes, that can eventually lead to their unmasking. And I hope that by writing my Week in OSINT, I pay a small contribution to sharing a bit of information that is out there. And about sharing information, this week I have the following topics:

  • Instagram Basics
  • Anonymous Instagram
  • Open Measures
  • Snapmap
  • Sensitive Documents
  • IC OSINT Strategy

Article: Instagram Basics

Over on his website Bashinho [ ] wrote a blog post about Instagram. The German article covers all the basics about Instagram, has some handy links, tools and other websites to explore, and is a great reference for people starting out with open source investigations.

Link: https://bashinho.de/... [πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§]

Links: Anonymous Instagram

I still remember that at the end of 2019 Instagram forced people to log in, even to view public and open profiles. Things have changed a lot since then, but not all open source investigators have an Instagram account. And even if you do, it is always helpful to know there are third party websites that are able to help you to download content without an account. So lately I have had a look at some online websites that offer an anonymous browsing experience, and I tested them. Here is a small list of websites, with their respective features:

Posts / Stories / Highlights / Tagged

Posts / Highlights / Tagged / IGTV

Stories / Highlights / Posts

Photos / Videos / Profile / Reels / Avatar

Stories / Highlights / Posts

Posts / Stories

Profile analyzer / User search / Stories / Posts

Posts / Highlights / Tagged

  • Highlights are all 'expanded', and not in their separate 'collections'. It claims it can show stories, but not visible for me.

Do be aware that if you use a third party to view an open Instagram profile, for whatever reason, you do leave a digital trail. The third party involved can log and see your visits, your searches and other interactions on the website. So please be aware of that!

Site: Open Measures

The platform Open Measures [] is built to investigate online content, like disinformation and extremism. It contains several tools, that enable you to analyse content by generating timelines or user activity on several social media. It can give you a free insight in historical events, starting from 6 months ago. There are also paid options, where a user is able to retrieve current content.

Analysing search terms on social media
Analysing search terms on social media

Link: https://openmeasures.io

News: Snapmap

Sadly, the free access to the Snapchat map is gone. At least, for now it seems. At the moment of writing it is still unclear whether this is a temporary thing, or whether it is going to be permanent. As Baptiste Robert [ ] stated in his tweet from last weekend, the map is still active and can easily be used, but it just is removed for the majority of the public. So I will say for now that the easiest solution for non-technical people is, to simply login into their account and use the map as intended

Browsing Snapchat maps
Browsing Snapchat maps

Tutorial: Sensitive Documents

Christina Lekati [ ] wrote an article about how specific search queries can be helpful to uncover interesting documents. She gives some useful examples, and explains how one can create a search for documents and information that maybe should not have been indexed by a search engine.

Harmless example, but contradictory nonetheless
Harmless example, but contradictory nonetheless

Link: https://link.medium.com/5BJKdkTRQHb

Tip: IC OSINT Strategy

Steven 'Nixintel' Harris [ ] shared an important document, that comes from the United Stated Intelligence Community. It is the OSINT strategy for 2024 to 2026, and highlights four strategic areas:

  • Coordinate Open Source Data Acquisition and Expand Sharing
  • Establish Integrated Open Source Collection Management
  • Drive OSINT Innovation To Deliver New Capabilities
  • Develop the Next-Generation OSINT Workforce and Tradecraft

This strategic report for the upcoming years shows how important open source information has become to generate intelligence. The professionalisation of this area within the intelligence community shows it has true value. And in his small thread, Steven sums up the key elements of the report, and closes off with an important element: Training.

Training is key!
Training is key!

Link to : https://www.dni.gov/files/...

FUNINT: This Week's Meme

Bye Snapchat Map This is the perfect example of the ever changing OSINT landscape: Features that used to be open and easily accessible, are now hidden to the public eye.

Have a good week and have a good search!

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