“The perimeter” is probably one of the most used metaphors in Information Security, and as an attacker or defender it’s often the first place analysed to identify vulnerabilities.

In this post I explore the perimeter metaphor and look at the impact of OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) when trying to defend or attack an organisation’s perimeter.

The early perimeter

Especially in the world of IT, metaphors are essential because they reduce highly complex things down to more familiar terms that humans can easily grasp (think of “firewall” and “cloud”, for example). …

Whether you are new to OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) or use it regularly in your professional life for reconnaissance, threat intelligence or investigations, the recent speed of growth in the field means constant development in terms of tooling, data, content and community. In this post I aim to highlight some essentials that everyone relying on OSINT should know, plus newer resources that might provide additional insights.

Photo by Tom Sodoge on Unsplash

First, the Essentials

If you are new to OSINT or come from a less technical background, there are some foundational resources you should gain a solid grasp of first because they’ll really help you get better use out of the other tools mentioned later in this post, in addition to gaining a deeper understanding the data they…

You may have heard about the Elon Musk Bitcoin scam doing the rounds on Twitter this past week. In this article I will explain how the scam was orchestrated and then walk through some of the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) gained through using some simple but effective techniques.

The Scam

Let’s first quickly walk through the scam itself and how it played out. Here’s an example of one of the promoted tweets:

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Aside from the nature of the Tweet (Musk giving away Bitcoin, seriously?), the grammatical errors, the fake Tesla domain name and the mismatch between the Twitter account and name, people still fell for it.

In short, the attackers compromised a number of genuine, verified Twitter accounts such as Capgemini, Target and Google’s G Suite, then changed the name and profile picture to that of Musk’s. To deliver the message to the masses they then used promoted tweets like the one above, linking to websites where the Bitcoin transfer could be made by the victims. And it worked. Despite the obvious indicators: grammatical errors, mismatch between the Twitter user name, name and domain name, apparently over $180,000 worth of Bitcoin was sent to the scammers. …


Steve Micallef

Author of SpiderFoot (www.spiderfoot.net), an open source OSINT automation platform. @binarypool on Twitter.

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