Week in OSINT #2024-16

Another Monday with some interesting tips from the world of open source intelligence and investigations

This week I have some more interesting tools, links and media for you, part of it from some of my own research I have been doing while building a new virtual machine. And while I was thinking about the sheer amount of Chrome extensions I wanted to use, I was thinking about how it would be better to turn some on or off. And that's when I found the existence of extension managers! And I have to say, more time went into testing most extensions out there, and going over their source code and checking their developers, than in writing this episode! And that's also the first topic of today's Week in #OSINT:

  • Extensity
  • Old YouTube Usernames
  • Vehicle OSINT
  • Tom Hocker
  • Geolocating With Ben

Tool: Extensity

While gathering resources that I want to use to build a brand new virtual machine for research, I stumbled upon a very nifty little extension called 'Extensity', by Sergio Kaszczyszyn []. This Chrome extension enables you to quickly turn on or off one or more extensions, and use preconfigured profiles to do so. This makes it very easy to enabled only a subset of extensions, thus making it slightly more difficult to be fingerprinted. Another extension I found is called Extension Manager (Chrome store ID: gjldcdngmdknpinoemndlidpcabkggco), that can even set a set of extensions based on the URL you are visiting. But when I was going through the source code, I found code that implied the use of Google and DoubleClick analytics, and I haven't had the time to check out what the source code does exactly. While testing, it didn't create any traffic towards Google, but besides that, I also found the connected website looking a bit too stock-site-like (is that a word?), I found no contact information of the Chinese developer, and couldn't find a lot of information about it anywhere. So do keep that in mind, if you would like to use that one By the way, there are several other extensions that do somewhat the same, and also for Firefox, but I decided to showcase this particular one for today.

Turning extensions on  or off, with a single click!
Turning extensions on or off, with a single click!

Extensity: Chrome extension

Tool: Old YouTube Usernames

Another little extension that I found during my searches, is a small extension that enables someone to view what the old YouTube commenters usernames are. When dealing with an investigation that, where evidence has been preserved with old usernames, this extension can be of help. And for people that rather use a Grease/Tamper Monkey script, that is available too, which will make this option available in FireFox too. Have a look at the change in usernames in the example underneath

Viewing old-style YouTube names
Viewing old-style YouTube names

Link: Chrome extension

GreasyFork: https://greasyfork.org/...

Links: Vehicle OSINT

While watching a video of Gary Rudell [ ], I noticed a link that he mentioned. This GitHub repository by someone that goes by the name of 'TheBurnsy', is a little treasure trove of sources when it comes to vehicle information. So if you are looking for any type of resources on this subject, from tools to identify cars, license plate of VIN databases, or even car logos, then this is the go-to source!

Filtering truck stops in Europe for  geolocating
Filtering truck stops in Europe for geolocating

Link: https://github.com/TheBurnsy/...

Media: Tom Hocker

Tom Hocker [ ], director at Trace Labs [ ] and the host of the Breadcrumbs podcast, is a guest at the Layer 8 Podcast [ ]. They talk about Tom's history, how he got into open source investigations, and about his role at Trace Labs. Another great chat about OSINT in general, OSINT for good, and the fact that he never participated in a CTF himself! It was a nice listen,learning a bit more about Tom and what he does.

Link: https://pod.link/1495404846/...

Media: Geolocating With Ben

In October 2022 Benjamin Strick [ ] started a series of YouTube videos called 'Let's Geolocate', and earlier this month he published the fourth part of it. In this video, he explains how shadows can be helpful in narrowing down a location. He further more explains how he uses Google Earth Pro to zoom in on small details seen in an image,to find a more precise location.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rztBqs4tyqY

FUNINT: This Week's Meme

Have a good week and have a good search!

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