Assignment #1: OSINT (Open Source INTelligence) Collection
OSINT is the homework every proper social engineer does before going to persuade people
to click on a link or open an attachment. It is not sufficient to pick a target; figuring out what
combination of persuasion principles, pretexting, and communication formatting will most likely
work is the hard part. What makes the target tick? You have to figure it out. There are interesting
books and (Virtual Machine) VMs about doing forensics that include an impressive set of OSINT
(Open Source INTelligence) tools, namely: Tsurugi VM, TraceLabs VM, Kali VM, to name a few.
For your first assignment, you have to pick an OSINT VM of your choice. Pick your own
hypervisor too (VirutalBox, VMWare, KVM, QEMU… whatever works for you). Next you have
to pick a target. Then, determine what tools you will use. Your task is to collected OSINT data
that will be the most useful in you creating a pretexting scenario for the target. Simply running
Maltego, Instagram Scraper, Twint, just because I have listed them here is not going to cut it. I
expect you to demonstrate a true OSINT investigation and clever utilization of multiple tools.
What to submit? An OSINT report:
No, there is not a required format, limit on pages, and all the “rubrics” to hit. This is a capstone
course, I can’t let you go in the professional world expecting “rubrics” for every part of life.
Cybersecurity doesn’t come in rubrics. Pick your own and make it a good read for me. Consider
using Overleaf. Or feel free to use any tool that enables word editing. I don’t mind.
1. Why this target?: You have to provide a good, sound justification why you picked this
target. This will determine if you properly understood the concepts of OSINT in the first
place. Refrain from using targets that under normal circumstances won’t be able to receive
communication from you. You know what I mean.
2. Why this tool(s)?: If you pick a Twint for someone that doesn’t use Twitter you have to
tell me what is your rationale of doing this. And vice versa. Simply “because this target
is vocal on Twitter” won’t give you much points. Someone can be totally vocal on Twitter
and be able to spot any phishing email coming their way.
3. OSINT data: A summary of the OSINT data you collected. Focus on elaborating how this
OSINT data feeds into the the pretexting scenario You can provide an Appendix with the
data listed there. Don’t include into the main body of your OSINT report.
4. Pretexting scenario: You got your data on the target, right? Is is enough? You have to
convince me with clear step-by-step what will be your pretexting scenario. Want to use
some persuasion principles as a basis for your explanations? Perhaps Feel free to do so.
What to augment the pretexting scenario with images or mock up communications? Cite
the sources. The pretexting scenario must be realistic though.
5. Expected Outcomes: You have to write all the possible outcomes of your pretexting scenario.
If the target will probably click/download/fall for the pretext, explain me why
you are convinced this is going to happen. There must be an explanation on why the target
might not click/download/fall for the pretext. Also, include a contingency plan on what else you
need to do in your pretexting scenario, or perhaps, the OSINT data collection, to maximize
your preferred outcome.
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