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, we continue the Timely Tips trend and provide additional tools for due diligence OSINT investigations across the pond and stateside.


Companies House: companieshouse.gov.uk

Companies House is essentially the Secretary of State for the United Kingdom. Anyone operating a business in the UK needs to be registered. Annual reports are available, along with officer’s information and specific contact details. Officers’ home addresses and detailed information are inserted in these reports, making it a great resource for investigating business connections.


Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council: ffiec.gov

The website of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) is a warehouse of economic requirements, such as the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) information. Covering U.S. agencies, this site serves as a repository of compliance laws and requirements. The BSA/AML InfoBase quickly produced the FINCEN requirements for Enhanced Due Diligence, now required of financial services clients in 2017. FINCEN’s site was a quagmire of notices and updates from 2011. You might appreciate the great organization of data that the FFIEC put into organizing its collection of data.


Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau: www.ttb.gov/foia

TTB.gov is the official website for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and is run by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. They regulate tobacco and alcohol permitting, labeling, and marketing requirements to ensure the safety of all consumers. Due to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), their website contains a published list of all alcohol industry members who hold permits under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA). The permits allow the production, bottling, importation, or distribution of beverage alcohol products. Their list is broken down into three categories: Alcohol Wholesalers, Wine Producer and Blenders, and Alcohol Importers. Hundreds of businesses are listed with their permit number, owner name, and address of where the permit is issued. This website can be very beneficial, if conducting a due diligence investigation on a distillery or similar business.

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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