S02 E01: What We’ve Learned In The Last Year About Social Media, OSINT, and Russia


December 8th, 2022

1 hr 11 mins 33 secs

Season 2

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

About This Episode

Hosts: Daniel Clemens, ShadowDragon CEO; Elliott Anderson, ShadowDragon CTO
Guest: Nico Dekens, Dutch_OSINTguy

After an extended layoff, the team returns with Dutch OSINT guy Nico Dekens to discuss changes and lessons learned during that time in the world of OSINT. They cover everything from the evolution of the internet landscape to the latest trends in counter social media and the use of technology in cybercrime and modern warfare.

The guys get right into a no holds barred conversation including methodology, tactics, and the current state of affairs.

On social media:
• For many, the newest social media is like a new drug
• Social media gave everyone a voice, but no one is actually listening
• More free speech alternatives will rise over the next 24 to 36 months
• Twitter model has always been broken, but remains a great source for breaking news
• Segmentation of social audiences will see more disinformation with less accountability

The war in Ukraine revealed:
• Russia was only a regional power, never a global power.
• Disinformation was defeated with even quicker counter disinformation
• OSINT can be an effective weapon against asymmetrical warfare
• Truth beats lies. War is cognitive. Input validation is important.

OSINT investigation tips:
• Honest intelligence from people with smart phones replaces spy craft
• Use the connector of a group to get to the hidden individual
• “Pinch” bad guys with a curiosity or provocative action to reveal themselves
• Food reviews, dating sites, sports sites, and gaming forums are valuable resources.
• Google is good but it is not the internet. Use varied sources.

What the near future holds:
• Energy prices are contributing to inflation and a weak economy, signaling ongoing instability
• Unsophisticated criminals with easy access to phishing tools may increase cybercrime
• The power of drones to be used a weapon is much higher than people realize
• Organizations give low priority to cyber investigations, acting tactically instead of strategically
• OSINT provides more pieces for putting the puzzles together.

Nico Dekens teaches OSINT methodology, critical thinking, proper intelligence analysis, and how to interpret large datasets.

For tools to help you apply some of the “pinch” techniques mentioned in the podcast, check out Spotter by ShadowDragon. You can also find other great cyber investigative tools and training from ShadowDragon.

Join us for more thought-provoking episodes and conversations with experts from within the OSINT world.