For federal agents investigating cybercrimes, gathering open source intelligence is a lot like going undercover. They establish fake identities to gain the trust of the bad guys, and gather information on criminal activities. They just do it all from a keyboard.
The challenge is that the internet has now been around for a long time. Both the good guys and the bad guys are capable of looking into the history of a user or a vendor on a particular marketplace.“To simplify it, you’re basically just trying to make yourself look like a bad guy, right?” Michael Ray, inspector in charge of cybercrime and analytics at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, told Federal News Network. “And there’s a lot of different methods and tactics and practices behind that. But it’s how do you do that in a very effective, timely manner?”