Great Article by OSINT Analyst and PI: Casandra33
I believe that we, as intelligence analysts, are all familiar with the experience that we “feel” something is wrong. That our inner radar turns to a specific subject, piece of information, or behavior. This phenomenon is also sometimes called the “asshole alarm.” In general, we are not fully aware of this. Let’s illustrate with a real-life example:
One day a colleague of mine asked me to shine my light on a domain name, he said: “What’s your idea? The first hunch is often the right one”. I took a look at the domain name and immediately I got an uncanny feeling, a nagging pain in my gut at the level of my solar plexus. Almost a kind of agitated, ‘fight or flight’ mode. I felt my muscles tightening and my nerves and senses were on edge. Alarm bells went off. I remember finding this remarkable, why did my system react so quickly and yet so intense? Seconds after, I read my colleague’s additional info which included the fact that there was a website with an article on missing children connected to the domain name. I wanted to know more and decided to conduct a short OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) investigation. After doing some technical analysis on the domain name, I performed some SOCMINT (Social Media Intelligence), found a lead (track), and stumbled upon all kinds of pictures of little children posted on various social media platforms. When I was confronted with those photos, the above process was repeated, the ‘fight or flight’ mode was activated again. I saw and felt enormous fear, sadness, and complete despair in the eyes of the children. That hit me, and I needed some time to process this. Based upon the technical analysis, the found pictures, and some other leads, I dared to conclude (something we as analysts and researchers prefer to refrain from) that malicious activities were in play and that the starting point of my research; technical ‘neutral’ data, led me via intuition to, most probably, a child trafficking network.
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