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 resources useful in OSINT investigations.

OSINT COLLECTIONS: osintframework.com

Created by Justin Nordine, OSINT Framework is described as a spider web of tools and other OSINT resources. It’s a great tool for anyone conducting an OSINT investigation. The spider web contains the basic framework that goes into an OSINT investigation, including anything from social networks to domain names and forums to blogs. Each layer to the web gives you more details. Let’s take forums, for example. By selecting forums, the spider web will expand to a list of forum search engines such as Boardreader and Craigslist.


Use the uk-osint.net online reference source to locate new material. With a nice reference list for learning more about searching social media and open sources, this site covers the standard resource sites, plus a few that might be new to you.

MONITORING: Youtube.github.io/geo-search-tool

This is a web application for finding YouTube videos tagged with geo-coordinates. Powerful yes, but also free for anyone to use. It was initially created to help find citizen journalism, according to the website’s About page. However, everyone working in online intelligence and security has a demand for this tool. Perhaps you need to monitor an event or a protest. Or maybe you need to watch for social media content posted from an individual’s residence or business. This application uses YouTube Data API v3’s search functionality to generate location ranked search results and their upload times. To use, enter a location of interest and, if needed, add key words to your search. It is important to remember that YouTube video upload times may not be the same time the video was taken. Paid platforms such as LifeRaft Navigator, Echosec, and Mediasonar have the same ability to determine geo-location from YouTube uploaders as well as other social networks.

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.