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Speaker schedule

The session times listed below are in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Welcome to OSINTUp! The hosts of NeedleStack introduce the speakers and upcoming talks. They'll discuss what you can gain from the day and other important OSINT training opportunities.

In the constantly changing landscape of open-source intelligence (OSINT), the ability to adeptly navigate and interpret data is not just a skill but an art. This talk will illuminate the path for enthusiasts at all levels, offering a blueprint for growth and mastery in the field of OSINT.

Micah Hoffman, lifelong learner, educator and OSINT evangelist, will emphasize the importance of continuous learning in a domain where the only constant is change. Attendees will leave with a clear understanding of how to build and refine their OSINT toolkits as well as strategies for staying ahead in a field that requires perpetual skill enhancement.

Join us for a journey of discovery and empowerment as Micah shares his expert knowledge and personal experiences to help you unlock the secrets of the digital world and elevate your OSINT knowledge to new heights.

Cynthia Hetherington, founder and CEO of OSMOSIS, provides a brief history on how the profession of open-source intelligence has matured over the years. From law enforcement, private investigations, commercial due diligence and government agencies, how do we know when someone is legally, ethically and technically capable of performing the duties we entrust to them? Do we trust solely on their attendance in a course, or do we need a more standardized approach to certifying individuals in our profession? How important is a professional certification to the growth of our profession? Tune in as Cynthia discusses this and more.

Learn methods and skills for analyzing video and imagery for geolocation. Josemonkey is a self-taught content creator who is passionate about OSINT. His popular TikTok channel has amassed followers by walking step-by-step through how to geolocate videos (that are willingly sent to him!) in a short format. For this demonstration, he dives more in-depth on the different strategies, rabbit holes and clues to use to find a location. Plus, learn when to trust intuition and how to verify your hunches.

Gillom Smith of Fivecast will hold a discussion on search engines and the importance of privacy and security when beginning your research. We’ll discuss some primary and secondary alternatives to Google; things to consider before clicking an unfamiliar link to a website; and resources for more tools and information.

There are more opportunities than ever for learning OSINT. But what are the kids learning these days anyway? Three professors, all with innovative new programs catering to careers in open-source intelligence, discuss what skills, strategies and techniques a formalized OSINT education includes. They also cover continuing education opportunities, programs and what a new generation of OSINTers will add to the industry.

We’ve all heard the expression: “the best way to learn is by doing.” We also believe that “the best place to learn is within a supportive community” and “learning how to use a skill correctly is the most important part of learning a skill." In this presentation, Tom Hocker and Alex Minster from Trace Labs will be discussing and giving examples of:

  • The benefits of non-theoretical experience as well as its shortcomings
  • How you can gain real investigative experience in a safe way
  • The importance of community when entering a new field

Thank you for joining the inaugural OSINTUp!

Guest speakers

Micah Hoffman
Micah Hoffman

Micah Hoffman is a well-known figure in cybersecurity and OSINT, with a significant role as a co-owner and course creator at My OSINT Training. He co-founded The OSINT Curious Project, blending his deep knowledge in OSINT and cybersecurity with engaging storytelling and humor. Active in the community, he shares insights on his blog, webbreacher.com, and across social media as "WebBreacher." He enjoys using his technical skills to discover new OSINT methods, create new tools and make OSINT accessible and understandable to anyone.

Cynthia Hetherington
Cynthia Hetherington

Cynthia Hetherington is the founder of the OSMOSIS Institute — an association for OSINT professionals dedicated to professional development and collegial support. She is also the founder and CEO of Hetherington Group, a consulting, publishing, managed services and training firm that leads in due diligence, corporate intelligence and cyber investigations. Ms. Hetherington has been recognized with numerous awards, most recently being named as Women in IT USA’s 2022 Security Leader of the Year and the 2023 Advocate of the Year.

josemonkey
josemonkey

Josemonkey is a content creator, an online privacy and safety advocate and an amateur OSINT researcher. While he has no formal training or professional experience in the field, he has been an avid geolocation hobbyist for more than ten years. Most people know him from his videos in which he pinpoints the location where user-submitted videos were recorded based on the clues he observes. For each video, he explains his approach to figuring out that specific location, and what information and tools he used to do it.

Gillom Smith
Gillom Smith

Gillom Smith is a tradecraft advisor with Fivecast providing training and support to customers around the nation. His background is filled with over a decade of intelligence analysis at military organizations and government agencies in the United States. At Fivecast, Gillom uses his past experience to train others on OSINT techniques in Fivecast’s OSINT Fundamentals Course and on Fivecast’s flagship OSINT Analysis Platform, Fivecast Onyx. Outside of the workplace, Gillom is always looking for another adventure whether it's rock climbing or baking.

Alex Minster
Alex Minster

Alex Minster is a cybersecurity professional with a passion for OSINT and missing persons. He is a volunteer director at Trace Labs, an organization focused on crowdsourcing OSINT to help locate missing persons. Alex's devotion to Trace Labs stems from his desire to use his technical skills to make a meaningful impact on society. He has been instrumental in operationalizing the organization's mission and has played a vital role in the success of its Global OSINT Search Party events.

Tom Hocker
Tom Hocker

Tom Hocker is a senior security engineer for Kroger by day and a volunteer director for Trace Labs by night. With Trace Labs, he hosts and produces the Breadcrumbs podcast, helps maintain the OSINT VM, drops memes for the community and helps facilitate and run Search Party CTFs. He sees organizations like Trace Labs as a gateway into the field of Open Source Intelligence and owes his own professional start in the industry to his involvement with Trace Labs and other “hack for good” non-profits.

Brian Fuller
Brian Fuller

Brian Fuller is the Director of Operations for the School of Intelligence, Computing and Global Politics at Mercyhurst University where he also works as an adjunct professor. This includes working as the Director of the Center of Intelligence Research, Analysis and Training (CIRAT) and working as the school's OSINT subject matter expert. Previously, he served as a Senior Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) instructor for the Department of the Army’s OSINT Office.

Jason James
Jason James

Jason E. James is an Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at Indiana State University's School of Criminology and Security Studies. He also teaches part-time at Indiana Wesleyan University, University of Cumberlands and American Public University. Jason started his IT Audit career in 2006 with the Department of Defense Inspector General in Washington D.C. and then, after a year in D.C., he transferred to a field office in Indianapolis. In 2010, he got hired as a Senior IT Team Lead Auditor with DFAS and resigned in 2021 to work full-time in academics.

Stephen Coulthart
Stephen Coulthart

Stephen Coulthart, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany as well as the Director of the Open Source Intelligence Lab. His research and teaching explore how national and homeland security organizations improve intelligence analysis to support more informed decision-making. His work has been published in International Affairs, the Journal of Conflict Resolution and Public Administration Review, among others.

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