Digital Forensics Practitioner & OsInt / Due Diligence, Fraud & Cybercrime investigator, Speaker
I head up the Digital Forensics team within TCG where we focus on Open Source Intelligence, digital forensics and Fraud/Commercial Crime investigations. I lecture on Open Source Intelligence pretty much any time that someone will hand me a microphone and let me prattle on about my passion for the world of data and solving crimes with the use of open source intelligence.
A SmInt (Social Media Intelligence) investigation involves utilizing social media platforms and online communities to gather valuable intelligence and insights. Analysts carefully examine individuals, groups, or events on social media, extracting relevant information to understand behavior, sentiments, relationships, and potential risks. Through sophisticated tools and methodologies, they analyze posts, comments, images, and other user-generated content to uncover patterns, trends, and connections. The investigation aims to provide actionable intelligence by identifying potential threats, uncovering hidden information, or supporting decision-making processes, ultimately enhancing situational awareness and enabling effective responses.
The "War Room"
The central command center where analysts gather and analyze open-source information for intelligence purposes. Equipped with advanced technology and tools, analysts monitor and aggregate data from various public sources such as social media and news platforms. Using sophisticated software, they process and analyze the information to identify patterns, trends, and potential risks. The war room promotes collaboration among analysts to share insights, cross-reference data, and generate actionable intelligence reports. Its primary goal is to leverage open-source information for enhanced situational awareness, threat assessment, and decision-making processes.
Building the necessary tools used in OSINT investigations, with our in-house OSINT development team.
The OSINT development team specializes in creating advanced tools for Open Source Intelligence (OSINT). With expertise in data mining, web scraping, and information analysis, they build powerful software solutions for efficient and comprehensive information gathering. Their user-friendly tools automate the process of collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data, enabling intelligence professionals and researchers to extract valuable insights. Stay ahead with their cutting-edge OSINT capabilities for cybersecurity, law enforcement, and business intelligence.
OSINT training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively utilize open-source intelligence for various purposes. Participants learn techniques for accessing, collecting, and analyzing publicly available information from diverse sources such as social media, websites, and public records. The training covers topics such as data mining, web scraping, advanced search strategies, and information verification. Participants also gain insights into legal and ethical considerations surrounding OSINT. The training aims to enhance individuals’ abilities to gather and interpret open-source information accurately, enabling them to make informed decisions, conduct investigations, and stay updated with emerging trends in the field of OSINT.
Open Source Intelligence (OsInt) refers to the use of publicly accessible information as well as databases to collect information in a structured manner. Information is gained from Public and Private Databases, the surface web, the deep web and the dark web. SmInt refers to Social Media Intelligence (often the two terms are used togather). Open Source intelligence is used to gather information around persons, companies and events in order to provide clear and actionable information. With cross referencing and verification, that information in turn becomes intelligence.
OsInt is used by private and forensic investigators, attorneys, law enforcement, intelligence organisations, fraud investigators, human resources professionals, tracing agents and commercial enterprises. It is a key component of performing due diligence studies on persons and businesses, Cyber Crime Investigations, Online tracing and profiling.
Social Media Intelligence is the use of information stored within social media platforms to further the knowledge of a person, group or incident. Often this information is available unbeknownst to the user. While the information is not accessible at the click of a button it can be uncovered with queries and structured data calls.
No, OsInt and SmInt are processes. These processes often use software for recording the process or information uncovered but they remain human processes. Analysis of data still vests with a human being and not an algorithm.
There are different levels of OsInt ability, from a basic researcher to programmers and analysts. A good degree of computer literacy is essential as is an understanding of the internet and investigative methodology.
They could, but that would only provide a tool. Much like giving someone who can drive a 250 ton crane driver won’t make them a crane operator. OsInt requires a structured investigative approach and an understanding of how the results and pivots meet. This requires hands-on training.
We don’t provide online OsInt training. OsInt as a skill/ ability requires hands-on practice and lab environments in order to develop best practices. Each countries level of data availability differs substantially as do privacy laws between jurisdictions. As such, you need someone experienced to guide you.
Comparatively, no. A level 1 OsInt/SmInt course will cost around R2000-2500 per delegate, per day. This is well priced in the commercial training sector as the skills required for teaching OsInt are scarce and in high demand.
Our company is an active Digital Forensics practice and as such all trainers are experienced and use their skills daily in the furtherance of their job functions. We train from a perspective of experience coupled with theoretical knowledge.
Our practice is a Digital Forensics lab environment. As such we use OsInt for profiling suspects in civil and criminal matters, tracing people, locating digital evidence, analysing and verifying digital information, providing expert witness testimony in court and of course Due Diligence investigations.
At this stage we do not provide one-on-one training but are always open to discussion
Absolutely, it’s key to learn the laws around data privacy and to ensure that you’re working within them at all times.
At this point no, we are however in the process of accrediting our training material with SAQA and will advise once this is complete. As a 40 hour course curriculum with specific outcomes we do not anticipate too many glitches with achieving this.
Our course instructors are chosen based on their proven OsInt/SmInt experience as well as their ability to present and impart knowledge. The majority of our instructors have a policing background as well as commercial experience. Some of the instructor crew are chosen for presentation of specific modules in which they hold strong credentials and expertise.
Our lead instructors profile is available on LinkedIn
Yes, we certainly do. Positions are advertised on this site as well as on our Facebook page as they become available.