We covered an Open source intelligence case study starting from a Reddit username all the way to geographic location. TryHackMe Advent of Cyber 2 / Day 14 Where’s Rudolph?

Blue Team Study Notes OSINT Study Notes


OSINT Learning Objectives for this scenario:

1) Identify important information based on a user’s posting history.

2) Utilize outside resources, such as search engines, to identify additional information, such as full names and additional social media accounts.

3) Identify important information based on a user’s posting history.

4) Use reverse image searching to identify where a photo was taken and possibly identify additional information, such as other user accounts.

5) Utilize image EXIF data to uncover critical details, such as exact photo location, camera make and model, the date the photo was taken, and more.

6) Use discovered emails to search through breached data to possibly identify user passwords, name, additional emails, and location.

Additional Resources:

While Rudolph’s posting history is enough for us to identify that he has other social media accounts, sometimes we are not that lucky. Great tools exist that allow us to search for user accounts across social media platforms. Sites, such as https://namechk.com/https://whatsmyname.app/ and https://namecheckup.com/ will identify other possible accounts quickly for us. Tools, such as https://github.com/WebBreacher/WhatsMyName and https://github.com/sherlock-project/sherlock do this as well. Simply enter a username, hit search, and comb through the results. It’s that easy!

This task was created to identify common critical steps in an OSINT investigation. Reverse image searching can help not only identify where an image was taken, but it can assist with identifying websites where that photo exists as well as similar photos (possibly from the same photoset), which can be incredibly useful in an investigation. While Google Images is used in our example, other sites should also be utilized to be as thorough as possible. No one site is perfect when it comes to reverse image searching (or any tool for that matter). Sites like https://yandex.com/images/ , https://tineye.com/ and https://www.bing.com/visualsearch?FORM=ILPVIS are great as well. Additionally, do not neglect the possibility of EXIF data existing in an image. While a lot of sites strip this data, not all do. It never hurts to look and can provide a wealth of information when the data is still there.

Finally, breached data can be incredibly useful from an investigative standpoint. Breach data does not just include passwords. It often has full names, addresses, IP information, password hashes, and more. We can often use this information to tie to other accounts. For example, say we find an account with the email of v3ry1337h4ck3r@gmail.com. If we search that email for breached data, we might find a password or hash associated with it. If unique enough, we can search that password or hash in a breach database and use it to identify other possible accounts. We can do the same with usernames, IPs, names, etc. The possibilities are vast and one email address can lead to a slew of information.

Websites such as https://haveibeenpwned.com/ will help identify if an account has ever been breached and will, at a minimum, inform us if an account existed at one point. However, it does not provide any password information. Free sites such as http://scylla.so/ will provide password information and are easy to search through. The data on free sites can tend to be older and not up to date with the latest breach information, but these sites are still a powerful resource. Lastly, paid sites such as https://dehashed.com/ offer up to date information and are easily searchable at affordable rates.

P.S: Check out also Open Source Intelligence Tools and Techniques

Room Answers

What URL will take me directly to Rudolph’s Reddit comment history?


According to Rudolph, where was he born?


Rudolph mentions Robert.  Can you use Google to tell me Robert’s last name?


On what other social media platform might Rudolph have an account?


What is Rudolph’s username on that platform?


What appears to be Rudolph’s favorite TV show right now?


Based on Rudolph’s post history, he took part in a parade.  Where did the parade take place?


Okay, you found the city, but where specifically was one of the photos taken?

41.891815, -87.624277

Did you find a flag too?


Has Rudolph been pwned? What password of his appeared in a breach?


Based on all the information gathered.  It’s likely that Rudolph is in the Windy City and is staying in a hotel on Magnificent Mile.  What are the street numbers of the hotel address?


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