In the fourth episode of season 2 of the ShadowDragon podcast, CEO Daniel Clemens, CTO Elliott Anderson, and Director of Intelligence and Innovation Collection Nico Dekens (aka Dutch OSINT Guy) sat down to visit the past, reflecting on what open-source intelligence (OSINT) was like ten years ago. They even took a glimpse into what the future might look like with artificial intelligence (AI) and gadgets like Apple Vision Pro goggles.
Listeners might be surprised to discover how social media algorithms are self-radicalizing people, computer experts are not what they used to be, and AI could be headed down a destructive path.
Key Themes from Season 2, Episode 4
System hacks and breached data dumps are on the rise. Based on what we’ve seen from a data collection standpoint, breaches and hacks are not slowing down any time soon. Reasons for this heightened activity could include increased free time as a result of school summer breaks, Ukraine war personnel returning to computers from battle lines and hacker message boards feuding with one another. Not to mention, system security appears more lax than ever, as penetration tests are missing the mark and old vulnerabilities continue to be exploited.
What is the difference between OSINF vs. OSINT? Open-source information (OSINF) is the collection of information from open sources, while open-source intelligence (OSINT) is information from open sources that is collected at a specific time through a specific request. While seemingly similar, the two are vastly different - the results, attribution and legality of each may also vary.
The evolution of Nico’s OSINT work. Nico also gives listeners a glimpse into his recent OSINT work, sharing that while he used to manually log into various accounts daily in an effort to make them look active, the rise of viable platforms has required scaling account activity over time. In addition, he shares why he is no longer using artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) tools in his work (mostly, he has found the results to be outdated, biased or untrue).
The modern-day pros and cons of OSINT data collection. Stricter rules around data integrity and the collection of information are being further defined by evolving changes in law, regulations and practice. Algorithms and AI operate in specific frameworks that can impact the presentation and collection of data. As processes continue to become automated, it is integral to know the underlying assumptions that define the parameters determining output - for instance, the ability to cohesively explain these assumptions can be pivotal to investigations or legal proceedings.
Social media continues to influence society in unchecked ways. Without even realizing it, people are becoming heavily influenced by their own online searches. Social media algorithms are quicker and more comprehensive in showing content that feeds your interests. As a result, people are essentially becoming self-radicalized online through constant reinforcement of their beliefs.
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!
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.