With the advent of the digital era, both the volume and sources of openly available information have exploded. Consequently, the importance of OSINT within the all-intelligences landscape has grown substantially in the past two decades.
However, OSINT is increasingly used by an ever wider array of users beyond the intelligence community. As a result, a growing number of people have become OSINT enthusiasts and/or practitioners. As of August 2020, there are over 700,000 Linkedin users mentioning “OSINT analysis” in their CV.
If you are one of those people and want to learn more about the OSINT tradecraft and OSINT tools and techniques, we’ve got you covered. We’ve assembled a list of 17 Twitter accounts you need to be following if you’re into OSINT.
1. @IntelTechniques | Michael Bazzell
Michael Bazzell is a thought leader in OSINT. He has over 20 years of experience working for the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Forces and U.S. Marshals Service criminal investigation. He also served as a technical advisor for the renowned series Mr. Robot and is currently hosting the weekly podcast The Privacy, Security, and OSINT Show. Throughout his career, he has trained thousands of individuals in the OSINT methodology and assisted others in enhancing their privacy. He is also the author of dozens of books and guides about privacy, security, and OSINT techniques.
2. @EliotHiggins | Eliot Higgins
Eliot Higgins began blogging in 2012 under the pseudonym Brown Moses and became well-known due to his weapon analysis during the Syrian conflict. Later on, he founded Bellingcat, a place where journalists analyze current affairs using open-source means like images, videos, and maps. He’s also known for his investigation of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the Russian military intervention in Ukraine in 2014-15.
Lorand Bodo is an OSINT producer for NBC News and a co-founder of the OSINT Curious Project. He became an OSINT enthusiast when he caught interest in Salafism while pursuing his BA in Political Science and Oriental Studies. He began investigating Salafism using any open-source information he could find and consequently realised that he’s using the existing discipline of intelligence collection, namely OSINT. He then learnt the basics and “never looked back since”.
4. @BenDoBrown | Benjamin Strick
Benjamin Strick is an open-source investigator for BBC Africa Eye and a contributor to Bellingcat. He is particularly keen on geospatial intelligence, security, and data analysis. Some projects he has worked on are the award-winning Anatomy of a Killing, Sudan’s Secret Hit Squads, and Turkey’s Ghost Ships. He’s also a trainer, a map enthusiast, and an educator on the craft of OSINT - assisting and advising projects, speaking at events, and creating and sharing case studies and open-source research.
5. @ArnoReuser | Arno Reuser
Arno Reuser is the founder of the Dutch OSINT unit as well as a distinguished OSINT teacher and trainer. In his early life, he wanted to learn more about the art of information so he took up History, however, that did not satisfy his curiosity so he moved on to become an information professional - a scientific librarian. Afterward, he began teaching at the Dutch Military Intelligence Institute and also established his OSINT training programs and his one-man consultancy agency. He won several OSINT related awards such as the Golden Candle Award in 2004 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in OSINT in 2006.
6. @into_thefuture | Aleksandra Bielska
Aleksandra Bielska has over 10 years of experience in the field of intelligence as a consultant, researcher, and educator. She’s taught the theory of intelligence to both private and public organisations in Germany, Turkey, and Switzerland and is presently the head of training at i-intelligence. In addition to that, she’s also an area manager at Swissintell and a board member at IAFIE EC. The majority of her work covers competitive and cyber intelligence as well as risk and knowledge management.
7. @osintcombine | OSINT Combine
OSINT Combine is an Australia-based intelligence company aimed at helping organisations through open-source analysis. They offer training, consultancy, and both free and paid tools to enable everybody to obtain knowledge using OSINT. Their Twitter account serves as a platform to share case studies, articles, valuable information about intelligence techniques as well as upcoming events such as their OSINT Symposium.
8. @dutch_osintguy | Nico Dekens
Nico Dekens has been an Intelligence Analyst in the Dutch Law Enforcement for over 20 years, working on cases involving murder, narcotics, stolen art, gang violence, political disturbances cases, etc. He is currently an independent OSINT consultant and specialises in online investigations using open-source intelligence and online human intelligence. What is more, he’s known to be active in the OSINT online community being a co-founder of the OSINT Curious Project and having been a Senior Project Manager at Bellingcat.
9. @OsintCurious | OSINT Curious Project
The OSINT Curious Project is the work of a diverse group of experts who want to keep their community (you guessed it) curious and informed. They are a source of OSINT news, original content in the form of blog posts, podcasts, webcasts, and instructional videos. They describe themselves as the catalyst for OSINT learning and claim that their mission is to guide people out of their comfort zones in pursuit of their OSINT passion.
10. @OsintZone | OSINT Zone
Osint Zone is yet another website created to inform and educate OSINT enthusiasts. They provide articles and pieces of training aimed at delivering the best practices and techniques related to intelligence gathering.
11. @Ginsberg5150 | Michael James
Michael James is an OSINT specialist who became one through Debt Collection. He used to be a collection agent and his job involved skip tracing (locating people using data points). This quickly became a passion of his and he started working on skip tracing assignments for local and federal law enforcement agencies. He’s now a part of the OSINT Curious Project and the Kansas City’s monthly InfoSec conference.
12. @technisette | Technisette
She’s been an OSINT researcher for over a decade when she realised that all resources she’d gathered over that time can assist others. She decided to no longer keep her library private and began sharing all her know-how on her website. She has a passion for education and OSINT and that resulted in her involvement in one more project - the OSINT Curious one, where she is the blog content manager and the creator of how-to-blog posts.
13. @kirbstr | Kirby Plessas
Kirby Plessas is an intelligence analyst with over 20 years of experience in the field as well as the founder and chief executive of Plessas Experts Network (PEN). After serving in the US military, she began her career in military intelligence. Afterward, she used her experience and love for innovative technologies and OSINT to fuel her work at PEN. She is a part of the OSINT Curious Project and a privacy advocate with her main interests revolving around law enforcement and the internet, namely social media and its safe and investigative uses.
14. @UKOSINT | UK OSINT
UK OSINT believe that the internet can be used as an investigative tool and want to educate law enforcement, journalists, and investigators on how to take advantage of it. They are providing OSINT training and resources on their website focusing on internet intelligence and social media research.
15. @terrypattar | Terry Pattar
Terry Pattar is the head of Jane’s Intelligence Unit and an OSINT consultant. He’s been working for national security and private clients providing OSINT optimisation support and training programs as well as horizon scanning, threat assessment, and military capability assessment.
16. @secou | Serge Courrier
Serge Courrier used to be a journalist and is an independent consultant and trainer presently. He specialises in developing strategies and research tools, web presence monitoring, and digital and editorial strategy for his clients. He’s a regular speaker at events and also a trainer of the editorial team of France Télévisions (Université France Télévisions, UFTV). On his social media accounts, he shares about OSINT tools and techniques delivering high-value content to French-speaking audiences.
17. @CarloSeisdedos | Carlo Seisdedos
Carlo Seisedos is a cybersecurity researcher in charge of Cyberintelligence at Internet Security Auditors. He is teaching university courses related to cyberintelligence and cybersecurity and is a speaker at conferences in the same fields such as C1w3rwall, RootedCon, and Cybercamp. He’s quite active on social media serving mainly a Spanish-speaking audience.
As OSINT becomes mainstream, the amount of development both in terms of tradecraft and technologies is increasing fast.
Staying up-to-date with these developments is essential if you want to keep your edges as OSINT analysts and following the leaders in the industry will help you achieve that.