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New Social Links Whitepaper: How OSINT is Leading the Charge in the Modern Era of Crime Fighting

This industry must-read tackles the crucial and wide-ranging topic of OSINT in law enforcement. Organized into four parts, the whitepaper covers the areas of digital forensics, social media investigations, deanonymization, and crime-fighting in the digital underground. Finally, we discuss how open-source intelligence is making a revolutionary difference in these spheres, illustrating the various benefits with specific use cases.

With so many aspects of human interaction having migrated to the online realm, criminal activity has also become proportionally digitized. Whether it’s for fraud, money laundering, theft, illicit trade, or radicalization, modern criminal actors are inevitably interfacing with the internet to achieve their ends. In this climate, OSINT tools and techniques have come to the fore as indispensable weapons in the fight against various forms of crime.

What’s Inside

It’s a big topic. But don’t worry we’ve broken it down into digestible sections. These are:

Cybercrime and Digital Forensics. The large-scale transition of personal and professional life into cyberspace has given criminals an expansive new playing field to operate in, combining both the physical and the digital realms. At the same time it has provided investigators with an unprecedented resource for tracking criminal activity and the actors behind them. This section discusses the changing landscape of digital forensics and why open data is coming to the fore in this essential discipline.

The Misuse of Social Media. While we may think of social networks as being relatively benign and well-moderated social spaces, they are also arenas for a huge array of illicit activity. From intimidation and radicalization to fraud and illegal trade, social media is home to all kinds of troubles, having a significant social impact. Here, we discuss the main issues, and why they have been proving challenging for LEAs.

Anonymization and the Digital Underground. Criminals are getting wise to the fact that the traces they leave online could expose them and their illicit doings. So, they are adopting the use of platforms where they can cover their tracks and operate with anonymity. Much of this concerns the Dark Web, where specialized browsers can cloak activity, as well as cryptocurrencies, which enable anonymous financial exchange.

The Solutions of OSINT. This is where we talk about the immense utility of OSINT tools and techniques with regard to all the issues outlined in the preceding parts. By harnessing open data, investigators can greatly increase the breadth and scope of all kinds of cases, and make breakthroughs that would be next to impossible otherwise. We give a varied selection of use cases that demonstrate these benefits.

Intrigued? Download the whitepaper for yourself and find out how open-source intelligence is transforming modern criminal investigations. It’s totally free!

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