SOCMINT : Social Media Intelligence

Hi readers , today we are going to see about SOCMINT. Do you publish everything

online ? Then you must read this blog to the last , it will be fascinating to you to know how Osint investigators filter the results! Its just an intro to SOCMINT.

Firstly , We should know “What is meant by OSINT ?

OSINT : Open Source Intelligence, is the practice of collecting information from published or otherwise publicly available sources.

Then “What is meant by SOCMINT ?” SOCMINT refers to information that comes exclusively from social media platforms. Resources available on social media sites can be either public (e.g. public posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter tweets) or private (e.g., private messages on Facebook or posts shared with friends). As private information is not accessible without permission, it is not our focus for today.

Social media intelligence (SOCMINT) is a powerful subcategory of OSINT.

In this blog , we show you some basic ways of collecting informations from well-known platforms.You will get an overview of global and local social media platforms that are of interest to your social media investigations.

The use of SOCMINT is an intrusion into people’s privacy and therefore must comply with the international principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality.


The information analyzed by SOCMINT could be classified into four categories:


  • The information obtained through sources that could not identify the target like data about locations or public transport.

  • Information that could identify a person — such as a name, gender, age, nationality.

  • The information which is specifically accessed through covert tactics

  • Closed information accessed using clandestine tactics


The Various Types of Social Media Platforms :


There are hundreds of active social media sites in the world today. Many of them are popular in their societies and target non-English users. The following drawing shows more social media sites that must also be considered when conducting social media investigations.




Basic Facebook Investigations:

Facebook is the most popular social networking site with the largest active user base on Earth. Its beneficial for investigators to search you on fb. Until 2019, Facebook offered an advanced semantic search engine called Graph Search to locate anything within its database by using natural English language phrases and keywords.Facebook did not remove this functionality entirely from its system. Indeed, it makes it hidden as the user can still manually build Graph queries to search within the Facebook repository. After removing Graph Search functionality, Facebook has improved its keyword search. In many instances, it returns accurate results and you can refine returned search results using different filters, as shown in the following figure.


This figure is from the old UI of facebook , it was used to show all the filters available to search.



Basic Twitter Investigations:

Twitter has a simple search functionality located on the upper side of the screen. You can use it to run some basic searches against the Twitter database. Like google dorks even twitter has some search operators which helps us to get more details.

Operator: "happy hour" | Finds tweets: containing the exact phrase "happy hour."

Operator: love OR hate | Finds tweets: containing either "love" or "hate" (or both).

Operator: beer -root | Finds tweets: containing "beer" but not "root."

Operator: #haiku | Finds tweets: containing the hashtag "haiku."

Operator: from:alexiskold | Finds tweets: sent from person "alexiskold."

Operator: to:techcrunch | Finds tweets: sent to person "techcrunch."


Operator: @mashable | Finds tweets: Referencing person "mashable."

Operator: "happy hour" near:"san francisco" | Finds tweets: containing the exact phrase "happy hour" and sent near "san francisco."

Operator: near:NYC within:15mi | Finds tweets: sent within 15 miles of "NYC."

Operator: superhero since:2010-12-27 | Finds tweets: containing "superhero" and sent since date "2010-12-27" (year-month-day).

Operator: ftw until:2010-12-27 | Finds tweets: containing "ftw" and sent up to date "2010-12-27."

Operator: movie -scary :) | Finds tweets: containing "movie", but not "scary," and with a positive attitude.

Operator: flight :( | Finds tweets: containing "flight" and with a negative attitude.

Operator: traffic ? | Finds tweets: containing "traffic" and asking a question.

Operator: hilarious filter:links | Finds tweets: containing"hilarious" and linking to URLs.

Operator: news source:twitterfeed | Finds tweets: containing "news" and entered via TwitterFeed


Tracking Users on Multiple different socials:


Let’s face it, so many social media sites! How can we track the target through multiple sites? Well, initially we could use Advanced Google search to find the sites where the account is present but that can become tedious so we can check specific usernames to see where they are being used through search services, such as:

●https://namechk.com/ ●https://www.whatsmyname.app/ ●https://checkusernames.com/ ●https://sherlock-project.github.io/

Summary:

People tend to use socials a lot these days and it’s rare to see someone without it. They will post content like images, videos, messages, and even geo location data. They also mention their education history, their current workplace, and addresses. Though Social Media sites allow users to control their privacy, very few users do that. This makes data readily available for accessing for investigations. The upcoming blogs will contain more insights on other various aspects of OSINT . Till then happy hacking :) .

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