OSINT Protips

Collection of useful OSINT tips and tricks.
If you follow my Twitter (@ohshint_), you may have noticed that recently have been going on a tweeting spree providing useful OSINT tips and tricks using the hashtag #OSINTProtip.
For those who don't use and/or don't care about Twitter, you can view all of these pro-tips on this page. I will be updating this page whenever I post a new OSINT protip.

OSINT Protip 1

Posted on 4/11/2021 at 11:17 PM.
#OSINT Protip:
You can easily download any Google document for offline use by simply editing its URL. Example (Using @bellingcat's Online Investigation Toolkit): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18rtqh8EG2q1xBo2cLNyhIDuK9jrPGwYr9DI2UncoqJQ/export?format=xlsx
Just add /export?format=<file type> to the document's URL!
/spreadsheets/d/<document ID>/export?format=<file type> and/or /document/d/<document ID>/export?format=<file type>
Export spreadsheets in pdf or xlsx format. Export documents in pdf, docx, epub, txt, md, and more!

OSINT Protip 2

Posted on 6/11/2021 at 3:42 PM.
#OSINT Protip 2:
You can view and download an #Instagram post in full resolution by simply adding /media/?size=l to the post URL.
You can also use `?size=m`, if you want a smaller resolution.

OSINT Protip 3

Posted on 8/11/2021 at 3:18 AM.
#OSINT Protip 3:
There are archives of Chrome, Firefox and Edge browser extensions that allow you to download older versions, view history, see developer information and other metadata.
Here is another useful archive of #Firefox add-ons:
This is a tool for downloading and extracting the source code from a .crx file:
These archives can be very useful when researching and discovering malicious activity!

OSINT Protip 4

Posted on 8/11/2021 at 10:59 PM.
#OSINT Protip 4:
Get yourself a library card (Register with fake information, if possible).
Many times local libraries offer free access to large datasets such as immigration records, ancestry data, newspaper archives, current and historical maps, and much more.

OSINT Protip 5

Posted on 10/11/2021 at 12:29 PM.
#OSINT Protip 5:
Use 3rd party viewers to browse Instagram profiles without having to use a sock-puppet account.
Also, it's worth noting that sometimes these pages have been archived on the Wayback Machine and archive.today.
So it's worth checking in case you encounter a private account or to see if an Instagram account has deleted some of their posts!

OSINT Protip 6

Posted on 11/10/2021 at 6:41 PM.
#OSINT Protip 6:
Flowcharts, use them.
These will ensure that you don't potentially miss anything while investigating different platforms and subjects. Extremely useful!
Created by @sinwindie, so go give him a follow and star his GitHub: https://github.com/sinwindie/OSINT
Attached images:
Dark web marketplace attack surface flowchart.
Instagram attack surface flowchart.
Person attack surface flowchart.
Twitter attack surface flowchart.

OSINT Protip 7

Posted on 12/11/2021 at 7:16 PM.
#OSINT Protip 7:
Federal and local governments often offer GIS data and other data sets for free. Including interactive maps, property, environmental and infrastructure information for specific areas.
Many of them can be found here:
Here is another example of what I'm talking about here.
This is a great collection of Canadian open data portals, both federal and provincial. This site also provides some other useful non-Canadian data sets.

OSINT Protip 8

Posted on 13/11/2021 at 6:27 PM.
#OSINT Protip 8:
OSINT is essentially an umbrella term for intelligence work. You should familiarize yourself with the common acronyms used in the in intelligence field, as you will likely encounter them in your journey. Read more here:
Attached image:
Common intelligence acronyms and their meanings.

OSINT Protip 9

Posted on 13/11/2021 at 8:19 PM.
#OSINT Protip 9:
If you didn't know about this before, you should!
Simple way to bypass the login prompt when scrolling through an #Instagram profile.
This technique also works with #Pinterest.
Attached image:
Instagram and Pinterest login bypass trick.

OSINT Protip 10

Posted on 14/11/2021 at 5:32 PM.
#OSINT Protip 10:
#Gmail addresses ignore dots, but everything else usually does not. Potentially discover new information and additional leads!
Example: [email protected] and [email protected] is the same address, but they provide different results:
Attached images:
HIBP search results.
Accounts connected to each email address.

OSINT Protip 11

Posted on 18/11/2021 at 4:47 PM.
#OSINT Protip 11:
IP addresses can sometimes be useful. Other than geolocation, you can also check to see if and what torrents have been downloaded by searching a specific IP:

OSINT Protip 12

Posted on 18/11/2021 at 9:18 PM.
#OSINT Protip 12:
Sometimes it's needed to use foreign information services while working on a specific case. Here is a list of telephone and business directories for different parts of the world. Very useful!
Translation may be needed.

OSINT Protip 13

Posted on 19/11/2021 at 7:09 PM.
#OSINT Protip 13:
Is #Instagram banning your sockpuppets? Use this simple trick to bypass their new "video verification" data collection scheme.
Step 2: Use your phones camera and follow Instagram's instructions.

OSINT Protip 14

Posted on 22/11/2021 at 2:16 AM.
#OSINT Protip 14:
Books. They contain lots of information, so you should read some! Here is a list of great OSINT books:
  • Open Source Intelligence Techniques, 8th Edition by Bazzell, M.
  • US Army ATP 2-22.9.
  • The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Heuer, R.
If you want to read more, check out these great lists of #OSINT related books and research papers.
These are all certainly worth downloading and reading. Go get learn't!

OSINT Protip 15

Posted on 23/11/2021 at 7:32 PM.
#OSINT Protip 15:
There are many datasets, maps and more online for many different, and very specific things. Everything from public toilets to license plates. Here are a few examples:

OSINT Protip 16

Posted on 25/11/2021 at 10:23 PM.
#OSINT Protip 16:
You can search for amateur radio operators by callsign, name or FRN. Results can provide a person's full name, callsign, addresses and in some cases, felony records.

OSINT Protip 17

Posted on 3/12/2021 at 1:09 AM.
#OSINT Protip 17:
When investigating footage coming out of conflict areas, it's important to identify the types of ordnance used and where it came from.
Here are a few great resources:
Being able to identify other things like firearms, ordnance, vehicles, aircraft, boats, uniforms and more is also important.
I have a large list of resources to help identify these different types of military equipment, find it here:
Attached images:
Both lethal and less-lethal weapon identification is important during conflicts and mass protests.
Images taken from https://riotid.com/.

OSINT Protip 18

Posted on 4/12/2021 at 9:45 PM.
#OSINT Protip 18:
Online maps exist for just about anything. Locations of military bases to Orthodox churches, and everything in between.
Here's a few:
As always, I keep a list of things like this over on my blog and also on GitHub.

OSINT Protip 19

Posted on 9/12/2021 at 10:30 PM.
#OSINT Protip 19:
S P A C E
The last frontier is certainly an interesting one to research! Earths orbit is a fun thing to investigate, see how polluted our orbit actually is. Check these tools out:
Check out my growing list of #OSINT resources for all things space:
Attached image:
Low Earth orbit is full of interesting things. Source: http://stuffin.space/

OSINT Protip 20

Posted on 12/12/2021 at 6:32 PM.
#OSINT Protip 20:
There are a few databases of scammers available online. Search by email, crypto, name, etc. Some of these sites are crowd-sourced. So there is a risk of false positives.

OSINT Protip 21

Posted on 14/12/2021 at 12:04 AM.
#OSINT Protip 21:
When searching for a person, username, email or phone number. Sometimes you can discover additional information by searching with emojis.

OSINT Protip 22

Posted on 17/12/2021 at 11:05 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1472100597595717632
#OSINT Protip 22:
[1/2]
Email addresses are a very powerful piece of information to have.
Discover email addresses via domain:
Confirm that it belongs to your target and see what services they use:
[2/2]
Check for any PGP keys:
Search for any additional information via breached data:

OSINT Protip 23

Posted on 22/12/2021 at 8:31 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1473873765800939524
#OSINT Protip 23:
[1/3]
Twitter lists are a great source of information about all kinds of different subjects bundled into one. Here are a few that I've made:
#OSINT Protip 23:
[2/3]
#OSINT Protip 23:
[3/3]
Some other great lists made by other Twitter users that are certainly worth following.

OSINT Protip 24

Posted on 4/1/2022 at 6:15 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1478550818685022209
#OSINT Protip 24:
Newspapers, both current and historic, are very valuable sources. Marriages, events, obituaries and more can be found.
Here's a few useful sites.

OSINT Protip 25

Posted on 9/1/2022 at 6:46 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1480370399229583362
#OSINT Protip 25:
Business and corporation registries can reveal a wealth of info about a company. Most countries offer searchable databases.

OSINT Protip 26

Posted on 14/1/2022 at 6:21 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1482176073588559877
#OSINT Protip 26:
This is a great technique for both reverse image searching and GEOINT things. Also, do yourself a favor and follow @LorandBodo. You will learn a lot from him!
"This is brilliant & extremely useful for #OSINT.
Ever wanted to remove an object, person or any defects from a picture to have better reverse image results?
Then TRY this one: https://cleanup.pictures it's free!"

OSINT Protip 27

Posted on 14/1/2022 at 7:19 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1482190623759212544
[1/3]
#OSINT Protip 27:
When working with onion sites, they may have been archived using clearnet proxies.
Adding .pet to an onion URL and searching it on http://archive.today and/or Wayback sometimes can provide archived copies.
[2/3]
Here are some other Tor2Web gateways to check the archives for. Some of these gateways still work, and some do not. Just add to the end of any onion URL:
  • .sh
  • .ly
  • .ws
  • .to
  • .cab
  • .city
  • .direct
  • .top
  • .rip
  • .plus
  • .link
[3/3]
Or replace the .onion part of the URL with these:
  • tor2web.org
  • tor2web.fi
  • tor2web.blutmagie.de
  • s1.tor-gateways.de
  • s2.tor-gateways.de
  • s3.tor-gateways.de
  • s4.tor-gateways.de
  • s5.tor-gateways.de
Attached image:
Example of using clearnet proxies when searching for archived copies of onion sites.

OSINT Protip 28

Posted on 22/1/2022 at 10:26 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1485136905523982336
#OSINT Protip 28:
Drone footage can give you better angles and viewpoints during #GEOINT investigations.
Here's some great resources.

OSINT Protip 29

Posted on 31/1/2022 at 1:11 PM.
#OSINT Protip 29:
[1/3]
Research papers can be an excellent source of information. Here are some great archives.
[2/3]
Here are a few more sites worth checking out as well.
[3/3]
And of course, https://archive.org

OSINT Protip 30

Posted on 10/2/2022 at 7:35 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1491979170997424129
#OSINT Protip 30:
[1/2]
WiFi BSSIDs can be very useful during an investigation. Can provide addresses, or even track a targets movements.
[2/2]
Thanks to @GONZOs_int for creating such a useful tool! Be sure to follow him for more awesome stuff.

OSINT Protip 31

Posted on 18/03/2022 at 6:48 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1504998178201825280
#OSINT Protip 31:
Locating geotagged posts is very useful when researching on-going events, protests and emergencies. Here are some great tools for this:
Attached image:
Viewing public Snaps in Ukraine using SnapMap.

OSINT Protip 32

Posted on 5/4/2022 at 5:56 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1511508193251237891
#OSINT Protip 32:
#Reddit can be an invaluable resource for any investigation. From deleted content, profiling a subject, or locating the source of content. Here are some tools.
Here are some other useful tools when working with Reddit.

OSINT Protip 33

Posted on 7/4/2022 at 5:42 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1512229453857886214
#OSINT Protip 33:
Passports and other identification documents are important in daily life and in any investigation. Being able to identify them and verify legitimacy is essential.
Some other great resources for identification documents and licenses.
Attatched image:
Passport stamps are a pretty cool thing to collect, and more importantly be able to identify. This is an example of Japanese entry and exit stamps showing QR codes.

OSINT Protip 34

Posted on 26/4/2022 at 6:48PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1519131392306651139
#OSINT Protip 34:
People tend to re-use the same usernames across multiple platforms. Use this to your advantage to find new pivot points.

OSINT Protip 35

Posted on 13/5/2022 at 7:56 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1525308993291231235
#OSINT Protip 35:
Searching for specific strings across paste and code repo sites can sometimes reveal a wealth of interesting data. Here are some useful tools.

OSINT Protip 36

Posted on 2/6/2022 at 7:20 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1532547813535457280
#OSINT Protip 36:
#Breach data can reveal a ton of useful information and new leads. Here are a few great (mainly paid) services.
Disclaimer:
As breach data is technically open-source. The malicious use of it can have heavy legal implications.
Using this data for credential-stuffing, phishing, blackmail or any other malicious purpose is against the law.
In other words, don't be shitty.
Attached image:
An example of the censored search results from breachdirectory.org.

OSINT Protip 37

Posted on 21/6/2022 at 9:34 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1539466711237136384
#OSINT Protip 37:
Stolen property databases are a great resource during loss prevention/asset recovery cases. From vehicles to firearms, here are a few resources.
Attached image:
An example of search results from hotgunz.com.

OSINT Protip 38

Posted on 7/7/2022 at 6:55 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1545224950562242561
#OSINT Protip 38:
Public webcams and WAN facing surveillance cameras can be a great tool for monitoring situations, tracking POIs and more. Some useful tools.

OSINT Protip 39

Posted on 13/7/2022 at 10:39 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1547455612434276352
#OSINT Protip 39:
Uncovering a targets older and/or alternate usernames can provide additional leads and much more information. Be sure to check for them!

OSINT Protip 40

Posted on 29/7/2022 at 6:43 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1553194512666636288
#OSINT Protip 40:
Reverse image searching can uncover unexpected results. From locating original works, identifying objects, and locating POIs.
Attached image:
Example of the free, censored search results from pimeyes.com.

OSINT Protip 41

Posted on 4/8/2022 at 7:46 PM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1555384789519151104
#OSINT Protip 41:
Whether you are a drug user or investigator (or both). Being able to identify #drugs and research chemicals is essential for both harm-reduction and investigations.
Attached image:
"Farfalla Vendetta". Beautiful artwork created by @HexpaoN. Support and follow this incredibly talented artist on Instagram: https://instagram.com/hexpaon

OSINT Protip 42

Posted on 12/8/2022 at 12:42 AM. URL: https://twitter.com/ohshint_/status/1557995941008773120
#OSINT Protip 42:
Finding #YouTube videos by location, finding comments, viewing metadata, and locating removed content can uncover essential information!