Timely Tips for the OSINT Pro

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, our Timely Tips overview two apps. One is a cloud-based messenger app for sharing messages, photos, videos, and the other a YouTube-like platform filled with a variety of content, everything from pandemic to overseas conflict. Both can be useful tools for investigative work. Come on, it’s time to dig in.

Cyber Investigations: www.telegram.org

Originally released almost 10 years ago, Telegram is a free encrypted, cloud-based, messenger app that allows upwards of 200,000 people to send and share messages, photos, videos, and more. Additionally, it allows users to broadcast to a large audience, simplifying large-scale communication. These features have grabbed the attention of several recent major protest movements. Most notably, it was used during the 2019 Hong Kong Extradition protests and has been known to be heavily relied on by the #BLM movement and countermovement. Investigating and monitoring are possible, though difficult. See also an article by Igor Bederov (January 15, 2020) for tips to getting into Telegram user profiles.

Cyber Investigations: www.brandnewtube.com

Established in 2021, BrandNewTube appears to be a United Kingdom based video sharing platform similar to YouTube. However, BrandNewTube claims to operate under very loose guidelines and standards. Despite this, a registered account is still required to post, view, and interact on this platform. Once an account is created, a user has free access to feeds such as live streaming and trending topics of the present time. Recently on BrandNewTube: Covid-19, “tyrannical political figures”, and the Ukraine/Russia conflict are focuses of conversation. With minimal supervision of this platform, it could quickly become the next hub for extremist groups to spread their beliefs.


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


Like what you’re reading? Check out Hg’s monthly webinars!

Throughout the year, Hetherington Group offers monthly live webinars on current investigative tactics involving social networks, search engines, due diligence, the dark web, and other related topics. Participants should have some basic experience of the topic, as all programs are offered at an intermediate level, unless otherwise noted.

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