Our weekly hack for those in the field doing the work & digging up critical intel.

The ability to uncover information on the internet is the primary skill of an online investigator. There are hundreds of thousands of surface, deep, and dark websites, but which are most pertinent to your unique case? Do you know how to utilize Google to its full potential?  With new social media platforms coming online at a rapid pace, capturing leads and evidence in social media networks is more complex than ever. Do you know the latest tools of the trade?

Hg’s OSINT Tips of the week provides you with the latest intel how to be most effective in our tradecraft. We are always looking for new tools, so don’t hesitate to let us know if you  have one you’d like reviewed in a future post!


This week, we provide a list of useful public records resources.

PUBLIC RECORDS: brbpublications.com

BRBPublications is the absolute reference library for keeping up with public records information. The free Resource Center section of the website, along with free articles, covers everything from Arizona motor vehicle searches to Wyoming business registry data. A free newsletter is emailed out often and older issues can be retrieved from the website. It’s an excellent resource for staying on top of your game in the open source research business. Also, in the Resource Center, you will find the Useful Resources Related to Public Record Searching. Here you can find handy links to laws affecting public record searching, information on diploma mills, and other education verification tools. Also available are trade associations with connections to public records, legal search tools, and unique vendors.

LEGAL: dauberttracker.com

Dauberttracker.com is a valuable resource for locating information on expert witnesses.  This database has aggregated 212, 822 case records and 122,908 expert records. Federal and state jurisdictions dating back to 1993 are included. Searches can be performed by expert’s name and discipline; no case numbers or additional identifiers are required. According to their website, admission criteria into the database includes if an expert was deemed not qualified, methods were suspicious or inadequate, or the expert was not credible. If you already have a subscription to LexisNexis Expert Witness—another paid resource for expert witness information—this includes access to the Daubert Tracker database.  There is also a small fee associated with a direct search of Daubert Tracker.

GOVERNMENT: scra.dmdc.osd.mil 

Ever in need to verify military personnel? The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) website allows users to submit a single record request for certificate verifying Active Duty (AD) status for an individual on a specified date. Without having an account, up to ten single record requests can be submitted. A user can create an account for additional requests. A social security number (SSN), date of birth, and last name are required to perform the search. SCRA reports on AD status since September 30, 1985 and only reports Title 10 AD periods. AD periods of less than 30 days of length are not currently included on the SCRA Website.  Are you a veteran or next of kin of a deceased former member of the military? You can also visit the eVetRecs system from Archives.gov to obtain copies of military personnel records online including Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), DD 214/Separation Documents, Replacement Medals and Medical Records.

Have an OSINT tip for us? Contact us, and we will consider reviewing it in future posts! 

OSINT Training

Hg OSINT TRAINING OPPORTUNITY: Online Social Media Primer, 300 minutes 5 CEUs

LIVE Webinars: August 2 @ 2:00 pm – August 30 @ 3:00 pm EDT

How well are you incorporating social media into your cyber investigations? No worries—we all start somewhere! This online social media primer details the treasure trove of riches social media offers to an open source investigator. With just a few mouse clicks away, leads can be discovered, facts challenged, and game changing details can be unveiled—all in support of a case!

This introductory primer series will teach you why to use these platforms, how to crack them, where to look, what nuances and leads you need to chase down, and how they are all interrelated. We’ll also discuss how to capture content per service, so you can present it in your reports. Each webinar covers a single social media platform and its specific details. Platforms to be covered include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.