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OSINT - are there any gurus in the house?  

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fkasperski
(@fkasperski)
New Member

Since I sometimes spend hours a day doing online "IT and IT Security related" research, I was trying to find better and quick ways of locating online answers. To specific IT questions.

I had not heard of OSINT until just a few months back.
At that time I was reading a newsletter that mentioned an OSINT course by Toddington International called, "Using the Internet as an Investigative Research Tool" at toddington

Upon researching the term OSINT a bit more, I came across another OSINT training course by Frank Bazzell at IntelTechniques

When I logged into Forensicfocus this past week I noticed the OISINT link to OSINTInsight
OSINTinsight

I was leaning toward the Toddington "Distance learning" course at first.
Its cost is $750.

I am not sure how much the Frank Bazzell "Live training" is but he offers an online version of the course for either $399 first month + $99/month thereafter (for as long as you want to remain) or $999 for a year.

There is the DIY site at Onstrat

Then there is the INFO site everyone has no doubt heard of, Lexis Nexis, who offers OSINT training. (though I don't know if it is true "open source" or if they are just trying to teach you to use their subscription based data sources).

I'd like to hear from anyone that actually uses OSINT related search tools and/or search websites, to track down people, places and/or things.
Which sources or places were good, which ones to avoid, etc.

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Posted : 21/02/2014 5:52 am
hcso1510
(@hcso1510)
Active Member

http//jaginvestigations.com/

https://www.hetheringtongroup.com/about.shtml

https://www.facebook.com/PlessasExpertsNetwork

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Posted : 21/02/2014 8:25 am
fkasperski
(@fkasperski)
New Member

hcso1510,

The 2nd link you listed (heatherington group) was where I had heard about the Toddington International course from.
Apparently you can take it through the Toddington folks or through the Smarteracademy.com.
(seems to be the same course).

Have you taken any of the training through the sources you mentioned?

If so, how was it?

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Posted : 22/02/2014 3:14 am
hcso1510
(@hcso1510)
Active Member

The jag investigations class was great. It was a two day and very informative. Michele is high energy, animated and will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting more and more information.
I've not had the opportunity to see anything from the heatheringtongroup.
I had the opportunity to attend a two hour class by Kirby Plessas. She is extremely intelligent, but not as high energy as Michele. In the class I sat through It seemed to be geared towards information gathering where Michele's class was more geared towards tracking individuals via social media. I'm sure Kirby could modify her class to tracking as well.
You may want to check out i-sight.com. Navigate through it and they have a webinar section. Occasionally they have some good stuff related to online investigations. You can get on a mailer and take advantage of the ones that interest you.

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Posted : 22/02/2014 9:10 am
fkasperski
(@fkasperski)
New Member

hcso1510,

Thank you for the insight you provided.

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Posted : 24/02/2014 3:19 am
combat.monkey
(@combat-monkey)
New Member

I (and some of my team) undertook an advanced OSINT course run by Nick Furneaux (https://twitter.com/nickfx) from csitech.co.uk. It was excellent, but is evolving all of the time, as is OSINT.

Give him a shout - He is really rather good! He's a top bloke as well.

Another option might be via [email protected] / http//www.csitech.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/FF-IOS-Inv-Syllabus_2.odt.pdf

Ray Massie who runs the course is also a good guy. Google him and you'll get a feel for his experience.

We use it to great effect in Private Prosecutions.

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Posted : 26/02/2014 9:46 pm
jhannon
(@jhannon)
New Member

I haven't done the Toddington course, but I know a few people who have and it is an excellent grounding in the use of OSINT. Their newsletter has some great news/information for new tools and technologies.

OSINT training is still getting off the ground - most LE will have some form of formal or informal training based around their legal framework, only going externally for those using it on a regular basis.

A lot of OSINT users have picked it up as they go along - new tools tend to get shared at conferences and practicioners' meetings.

There's a few websites out there with lists of tools - for example, http//www.uk-osint.net/ and http//rr.reuser.biz/ have huge libraries of Open Source research tools, sites and resources. I would also recommend https://www.paterva.com/web6/products/maltego.php as a great tool for establishing relationships between people, websites, etc. It can be used for free.

One thing to remember is the OSINT training is generally quite localised (despite the global reach of the internet) - this is because many tools are specific to one country, e.g. http//www.spokeo.com/ is a fantastic person finding tool for the US, but doesn't cover the UK.

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Posted : 27/02/2014 4:49 pm
JHowell
(@jhowell)
New Member

My company recently purchased the IntelTechniques OSINT training for every member. We all learned a lot (and I have been doing OSINT for many years). It takes about 40 hours to go through it all, but we all received unlimited access for a year. The instructor, Michael Bazzell, uploads multiple new videos monthly. He also shares a lot of his resources for free here

http//inteltechniques.com/links.html

He is active FBI and teaches their OSINT courses. He also gives you free software (open source stuff) that he has configured for optimal use. I found it to be some of the best OSINT training out there, and they make us take all of it. The ONLY non-positive thing I would say about his training is that he does not update each video, he uploads new videos. For example, I watched a video on how to identify the owners of cell phone numbers, only to watch another video explaining the new method since the other methods was shut down. Not a big deal, and maybe the archive of videos is better, but just my opinion. Otherwise, fascinating stuff.

On a LinkedIn OSINT group, someone posted two free trial videos of his

Facebook Graph Search http//inteltechniques.com/demo-fb.html
Twitter Advanced Search http//inteltechniques.com/demo-TW.html

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Posted : 28/02/2014 12:48 am
fkasperski
(@fkasperski)
New Member

I (and some of my team) undertook an advanced OSINT course run by Nick Furneaux (https://twitter.com/nickfx) from csitech.co.uk. It was excellent, but is evolving all of the time, as is OSINT.

Give him a shout - He is really rather good! He's a top bloke as well.

Another option might be via [email protected] / http//www.csitech.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/FF-IOS-Inv-Syllabus_2.odt.pdf

Ray Massie who runs the course is also a good guy. Google him and you'll get a feel for his experience.

We use it to great effect in Private Prosecutions.

Thanks, I'll certainly check these out when I get home. (Too much stuff is blocked at work otherwise I'd take a quick peek)

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Posted : 08/03/2014 5:25 am
fkasperski
(@fkasperski)
New Member

My company recently purchased the IntelTechniques OSINT training for every member. We all learned a lot (and I have been doing OSINT for many years). It takes about 40 hours to go through it all, but we all received unlimited access for a year. The instructor, Michael Bazzell, uploads multiple new videos monthly. He also shares a lot of his resources for free here

http//inteltechniques.com/links.html

He is active FBI and teaches their OSINT courses. He also gives you free software (open source stuff) that he has configured for optimal use. I found it to be some of the best OSINT training out there, and they make us take all of it. The ONLY non-positive thing I would say about his training is that he does not update each video, he uploads new videos. For example, I watched a video on how to identify the owners of cell phone numbers, only to watch another video explaining the new method since the other methods was shut down. Not a big deal, and maybe the archive of videos is better, but just my opinion. Otherwise, fascinating stuff.

On a LinkedIn OSINT group, someone posted two free trial videos of his

Facebook Graph Search http//inteltechniques.com/demo-fb.html
Twitter Advanced Search http//inteltechniques.com/demo-TW.html

Glad to hear from someone involved in Mr Bazzell's program.
I was leaning toward taking that one later this year.
When I do it will be an out-of-pocket expense for me. Hence the questions.

If I calculated correctly then the cost to do 1 year of "month by month" of Frank Bazzell's OSINT is
The first month at $399, then 11 more months x $99 each month =
$1,488 for one year. Or $124/month.

To do the "one year access via a single payment" price is $999 .
So $999 / 12 months = $83.25/month.

Quite a savings, $124 vs $83.25 per month, if you are paying your own way.

I have a few questions if you don't mind.

Question 1

- If you were paying for access to Frank's website out of your own pocket, do you feel it pays for itself as far as the info it provides to you?
In teaching techniques that save you significant time and money?

Question 2

I assume there are some "BASICS (or a FOUNDATION) of conducting OSINT" training videos. Probably the "40 hours to complete" that people talk about.

Then other videos dealing with more of the "SPECIFICS of OSINT"; perhaps how to use specific search tools, specific websites, software etc.

The "monthly updates"
As far as the ongoing monthly updates to the website.

- Do you see many updates to the BASICS of conducting OSINT?
- Or are most of the updates for the SPECIFICS of OSINT, like
using new software products or using new web tools that just became available?
(Or, like the example you mentioned. How one cell phone technique no longer worked. so it was replaced by a new method).

Question 3

I know OSINT is supposed to be "open source" and most people often equate "open source" to equaling "free".
- How many of the research products, services or techniques involved have
additional out-of-pocket expenses?
Like subscriptions or membership websites?

Thanks in advance.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 08/03/2014 6:27 am
JHowell
(@jhowell)
New Member

I will try to tackle these

"If you were paying for access to Frank's website out of your own pocket, do you feel it pays for itself as far as the info it provides to you?"

Just to make sure we are talking about the same course, it is Michael Bazzell, not Frank. I googled Frank Bazzell and found nothing related, so I assume we are on the same page. I think it was definitely worth it, even on a personal level. A friend that is a P.I. watched along with me during the Facebook and Twitter options and immediately bought his own monthly membership with personal funds.

"In teaching techniques that save you significant time and money?"

Definitely. He provides his own web based tools that saves me a ton of time. I use the Facebook custom tools page every day, it always finds something I missed within two seconds. To be fair, these tools are all free on his sight. the videos just help explain what all can be done with them. You could play around first.

"I assume there are some "BASICS (or a FOUNDATION) of conducting OSINT" training videos. Probably the "40 hours to complete" that people talk about."

The entire series was fairly straight forward. Not much fluff or filler. Started with search engine basics and operators, went straight into ways to exploit social networks.

"Then other videos dealing with more of the "SPECIFICS of OSINT"; perhaps how to use specific search tools, specific websites, software etc."

The later section on software is like 7 hours long. A separate video for each program. I skipped a few I would have no need for.

"The "monthly updates"
As far as the ongoing monthly updates to the website. Do you see many updates to the BASICS of conducting OSINT?"

No, the updates display new methods that have been identified since the original videos were posted.

"Or are most of the updates for the SPECIFICS of OSINT, like
using new software products or using new web tools that just became available?
(Or, like the example you mentioned. How one cell phone technique no longer worked. so it was replaced by a new method)."

Exactly. Actual updates.

"I know OSINT is supposed to be "open source" and most people often equate "open source" to equaling "free". How many of the research products, services or techniques involved have additional out-of-pocket expenses?"

None. He is pretty good about showing ways to bypass the fee requirements. One of the first videos showed how to access premium content on a newspaper archive site for free without any login.

"Like subscriptions or membership websites?"

None. He actually discourages anyone from using the paid sites.

One last thing. To be fair, I would probably get the monthly and start from there. My friend did that and decided later to get the whole year. They offered to only charge him the difference so that he ended up paying $999 for everything for a year. They were pretty easy to deal with. I emailed the instructor twice with questions and he responded personally within minutes. I thought it was an autoresponder until I read that he was referring to my actual inquiry.

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Posted : 09/03/2014 1:08 am
fkasperski
(@fkasperski)
New Member

To JHowell,

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide all your answers.

You are correct on the name.
I just looked at the book I have from Mr Bazzell "Open Source Intelligence Techniques" and it certainly is Mike Bazzell, not Frank. (Not sure where I got the Frank from when I was posting to the forum)

I have monies budgeted out to start in about 1 month from now.

It's great to hear from someone that is involved with using service and hearing your review of it.

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Posted : 11/03/2014 3:58 am
research1
(@research1)
Active Member

I've found usersearch.org to be useful for this.

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Posted : 22/10/2014 3:18 am
sight_trevor
(@sight_trevor)
New Member

For investigators or researchers interested in OSINT, this is a comprehensive OSINT resource directory put together by the company I work for. Cynthia Hetherington (Hetherington Group, who was mentioned above) contributed to it

http//i-sight.com/resources/101-osint-resources-for-investigators/

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Posted : 02/06/2016 9:02 pm
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