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Researching Hitman Scams on the Dark Web

Earlier this year, the European Union police agency Europol, working alongside Italian police, arrested a man suspected of hiring a killer on the dark web. The suspect allegedly paid roughly $10,000 worth of Bitcoin to have his ex-girlfriend killed. Authorities quickly traced the transaction, found the provider where he had purchased the…

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The Chief Intelligence Officer

Cyber threats, capabilities and, intelligence abound and enterprises are staring down a hazy divide between their Corporate structure and those of government agencies and military agencies.

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Investigating Cryptocurrencies and Terrorist Financing

Last summer, the Justice Department dismantled financing campaigns in the government's largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in a terrorism context, seizing millions of dollars. The financing schemes involved some of the world's most notorious terrorist groups, namely, the al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State of…

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A Brief History of Predicting the Future

Where did OSINT come from, and where can it take us? Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a discipline in constant transformation. Although some form of intelligence has always been part of the decision maker's toolkit, it has constantly needed to adapt to match the dynamics and demands of society. Over time, it has evolved from a nebulous concept into…

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OSINT for Ghost Hunters: How to Find Someone Who Doesn’t Want to be Found

The digital environment gives twenty-first-century investigators a novel advantage. Virtually everyone now has a basic digital footprint that is hard to erase, making it difficult for the modern-day criminal to go full "Lord Lucan". And many fugitives from justice continue to sprinkle data across the open source internet with far less discretion than…

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Investigating Underground Wildlife Trade on Instagram

"We have something crazy about to happen," says celebrity YouTuber MoVlogs in a video before showing two white tiger cubs in the trunk of a car. Later the cubs can be seen in his home in Dubai and a backyard swimming pool, where he and family members play with them. The clip has close to three million views, and there are dozens, if not hundreds more…

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No Criminal Is an Island

From ISIS to Q-Anon, criminal networks, and financial frauds: large-scale violence and crime are rarely the work of isolated individuals. “Networked actors” like these are increasingly notorious for their widespread use of social media to communicate, recruit, disseminate ideology, and plan violent or criminal action. But their Twitter proficiency is a…

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Documenting Destruction in Myanmar's Rakhine State With Openly Available Satellite Imagery

Myanmar has been thrown into turmoil after the military seized power and detained the country's democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and other members of her government at the beginning of February. Dozens of people have been arrested during country-wide protests, and several have been killed. 

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Clubhouse for OSINT Investigations

Introduction Clubhouse is a new type of social network based entirely on voice rather than text, images, or videos. Clubhouse allows people to join clubs and have conversations with each other in real-time. It’s mobile-based, iOS only, and is gaining in popularity very quickly. With any new social networking platform, it’s important to understand how…

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Operational Security in the Battle for Press Freedom

Attacks on journalists are no longer the preserve of war zones and authoritarian states. Reports over the last year have indicated a worrying rise in attacks, not in areas of armed conflict, but across the world’s democracies including Europe and the United States. This trend is likely to continue amid a persistent global climate of civil unrest,…

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