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 tools. Both source public records information, one on people, businesses and places, and the other specifically with info on suppliers. Both can be useful tools for due diligence and investigative work. Come on, it’s time to dig in.

Due Diligence: www.blackbookonline.info

Access to public-record information is imperative for investigations and research. Black Book Online is a great resource that locates online record searches specific to the United States. As of this writing, it has access to over 37,000 public record databases. Similar to BRB Publications, this site provides links to specific county, state, and court websites. On the home screen, a search by specific city and state or public record type may be performed. For example, typing Dallas, TX will provide databases specific to that region. Each result provides a brief description, its location, data source, record type, and a user rating.

Due Diligence: www.thomasnet.com

Searching for a supplier in the United States? Thomas claims to aggregate information on over 500,000 suppliers. Search by category, company, or brand for suppliers, products, or CAD models in a specific region, or all over the United States. Results will return manufactures, distributors, service companies, and information about them such as their contact information, address, or company summary. With an account, a supplier can edit their information, so it is recommended that the information they provide be vetted and verified. With an account, a user can obtain certifications and registrations for the supplier, diversity and small business status, and a free supplier summary report.


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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