In the second episode of season 2 of the ShadowDragon podcast, CEO Daniel Clemens, CTO Elliott Anderson, and Director of Intelligence and Innovation Collection (aka Dutch OSINT Guy) Nico Dekens sat down to discuss the latest espionage and OSINT news around the world.
From lone wolf activity to coordinated attacks, the ShadowDragon team examines recent events from an intelligence perspective, discussing new methodology and emerging patterns.
Key Themes from Season 2, Episode 2:
The mass exodus from mainstream platforms is helping OSINT data collection. For a few years, we’ve observed people leaving YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, gravitating towards smaller groups with shared ideologies and viewpoints. Bad actors can do a lot more damage in these smaller ecosystems, as they tend to trust one another and act more extremely. This is great for open source intelligence (OSINT) investigation and attribution because we can easily target them in these smaller spaces and get better results.
Asymmetrical warfare continues to be a disruptive force in conflicts around the world. From election campaigns to civil protests, disrupters stir dissent on both sides to keep societies on edge. It took a long time for many to realize the ability of the internet to interfere with geopolitics, yet the vast majority will never be able to spot the manipulation.
WWIII is on the rise. Computer exploitations and OSINT are expanding the battlefield, creating unforeseen advantages in the Russia/Ukraine conflict. Most recently, super spies have been exposed through data dumps, revealing their families and disrupting daily lives for maximum damage. Foreign policy connections and illegal surveillance on Russian citizens are also being exposed through a “Snowden” type of leak.
People don’t question the tech they use like they should. With smart devices and household appliances transmitting usage data across the web and basic apps requesting access to phone data for no good reason, vulnerability is definitely on the rise. Protect yourself against these technological threats:
- Stop granting permissions that infringe on your privacy
- Reject apps that request contact and photo access
- Disable appliance internet connectivity when unnecessary.
Image Attribution: Chase Doak, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
RTL-SDR USB sticks are being used to track air and boat traffic. Hobbyists were tracking the Chinese spy balloon, starting in the Western United States. A low-cost RTL USB stick and antenna democratized the radio spectrum, enabling anyone to access the signals. In addition, databases, like ADS-B exchange, will also provide free access to their global coverage for planes and boats. There are also weather balloon tracking apps.
You can find all the ways to watch and listen to this ShadowDragon podcast here. Stay tuned for more thought-provoking episodes and conversations with experts from within the OSINT world!
For those interested in improving their open-source investigative techniques and methodology, ShadowDragon now offers a special 5-day OSINT training class that is not advertised on the website. Contact us for details.
With extensive experience in defensive and offensive security, Daniel has been a quiet trailblazer in digital intel-gathering long before cyber intelligence became a discipline. More than a decade ago he was inventing and applying his own intelligence tools in support of companies and governments around the world facing urgent threats. Using this deep understanding of web technologies and the behaviors of cybercriminals, he has enhanced, updated and packaged these tools under ShadowDragon.
Daniel is a member of the Odonata Holdings, Inc.