In season two of the Layer 8 Podcast, we'll talk to the experts, social engineers and open source intelligence investigators. Sometimes, they'll tell us stories of their experiences, and sometimes we'll have questions for them. We hope you enjoy listening!
For this episode, we're joined by Siobhan Kelleher, also known as @Secure_Coffee. Siobhan's day job is in higher ed but she got introduced to OSINT by joining in to a Trace Labs Capture the Flag competition at the 2019 Layer 8 Conference. She has worked in sales, so she's also always had a knack for social engineering, plus it appears to run in her family. Let's hear from Siobhan about the strategies and many tools that she has learned to use during her OSINT investigations.
The main organizers of the Collegiate SECTF include Temple University's CARE Lab of Professor Aunshul Rege, Rachel Bleiman and Katorah Williams, plus Patrick Laverty from Layer 8 Conference. In this episode, the team discusses the origins of the SECTF, how it works, who can compete, as well as the impressions of the competition by graduate students Rachel and Katorah. If you are a college student and would like to compete in this tournament, this is a can't miss episode!
For this episode, we speak with Michele Stuart of JAG Investigations. Michele is a social engineer and OSINT investigator. She also offers training on her strategies and techniques. Michele tells us about the OSINT tools that she used when she first got started in the field, which was before searching on the internet became common. She also tells us how she talked her way into a Super Bowl party and also ended up selling raffle tickets at a holiday party!
For this episode, we speak with three social engineers who are also hobbyists in the art of magic. Magic is often about deception, distraction and sleight of hand techniques. We'll talk with Lee, Richard and Chris about how they got started learning these techniques, as well as some of the psychology needed to make people believe the tricks and find the overlaps with social engineering.
What is the dark net, the dark web, the clear web and the differences between them? For this episode, we'll hear some fun stories from Levitannin, an OSINT researcher and Innocent Lives Foundation volunteer. Are Red Rooms real? And what are some of the places to look for some of the rumored illicit information that is on these layers of the internet? Join Levi today and find out all this, plus even more!
And you can also join Levi for the Innocent Lives Foundation gamer streams on Twitch!
If you enjoyed this episode or any others here, please donate to the Innocent Lives Foundation.
From October 2nd to 4th, six teams competed in the first ever Collegiate Social Engineering Capture the Flag competition at Temple University. They were tested on their ability to perform OSINT, create a phishing email and even make phone calls to gain information. This episode speaks with the creator of the competition, Professor Aunshul Rege and the winner of the competition, a one-woman team from Noroff University College in Norway, Ragnhild "Bridget" Sageng. We also have one of the judges with us, our long time friend and all around great person, TinkerSec!
Stay tuned for announcements about the second annual competition, coming soon!
For this episode, we welcome our friend Tokyo. Tokyo is a member of Team Searchlight community, and is the author of many blog posts on OSINT investigations. Today, Tokyo shows us the steps, methodology and tools that can be used to trace a single online review all the way to the person who left it.
For this episode, we hear from Stefanie LaHart. Stefanie is an expert social media strategist and podcaster who has competed in the Defcon social engineering capture the flag competition twice! She tells us how she got into the competition as someone who was unfamiliar with the terms social engineering and OSINT, showed up to the competition without much of a strategy and figured it out on the spot. She also tells us about what happened when a person from her competition target was in the audience, listening to her vishing calls.
This summer, Stefanie has a book being released, she has a class on safe online dating for women as well as many social media tips, tricks and strategies. You can find all of this and more at http://StefanieLahart.com.
For this episode, we welcome BOsintBlanc. He loves to use OSINT tools and loves to help others with their OSINT skills. But there's one thing that he'd love to see everyone do before using tools. That is to develop a solid methodology and mindset around the OSINT process. In this episode, he talks about how he got started in OSINT and other tips and tricks to refining your own methodology. Also, he asks that you consider making a donation to the National Child Protection Task Force, where he volunteers.
For this episode, we welcome Nicole Beckwith. Nicole is a Staff Cyber Intel Analyst with GE Aviation. She previously worked in law enforcement and was tasked with going undercover into the world of sex work. She played the role of a sex worker and explains all the background and research that went into it, learning the language, the acronyms, the signal words and ways to protect herself in the job. She also tells a second story of a night when one unsuspecting person crossed paths with Nicole and other social engineers and inadvertently began an interview for PornHub.
In this episode, we talk with Phillip Wylie. Phillip is a former professional wrestler turned hacker and now teacher, and an ambassador to the Innocent Lives Foundation. Please donate today on Phillip's page! Phillip works as an offensive security instructor for INE, he created the Pwn School, co-authored The Pentester's Blueprint with Kim Crawley which he also turned into a conference presentation, and also co-hosts the podcast The Uncommon Journey with Alyssa Miller and Chloe Messdaghi. Phillip tells the lessons he imparts on his students, getting into pentesting as well as the crossover of social engineering into his professions in jewelry sales and professional wrestling. Oh, and did you hear he wrestled a bear?
For this episode, we speak with @DeviantOllam who runs both the Core Group and Red Team Alliance. Deviant is also the author of two books, Practical Lock Picking: A Physical Penetration Tester's Training Guide and Keys to the Kingdom: Impressioning, Privilege Escalation, Bumping, and Other Key-Based Attacks Against Physical Locks. Today, Deviant tells us three stories of covert entry, including much of his strategy, tips, techniques and the social engineering that goes into an engagement. He also tells us of the most difficult building he has ever had to enter and what made it so difficult for him.
For this episode, we talk with Ryan MacDougall, the Chief Operating Officer at Social-Engineer.org and Curt Klump, a Human Risk Analyst, also at Social-Engineer.org. They tell two stories of using OSINT during social engineering engagements. In Ryan's, he shows how sometimes no matter how deep you dig, it might not be enough. In Curt's story, he tells us about ways that he was able to use OSINT to find a ghost.
Curt and Ryan also join us to talk about the upcoming Human Hacking Conference on March 11th to 13th, 2021. If you sign up now, use the Promo Code L8HHC100 to get $100 off your registration price!
Доверяй, но проверяй - Doveryai, No Proveryai (Trust, but verify)
For this episode, we welcome Zlata Pavlova aka @3latka_ on Twitter. By day, Zlata works with InGuardians but she is also working with OSINT and social engineering. Zlata speaks multiple languages which is a big asset with the type of OSINT she does. Today, she walks us through the steps that a hacker took to take control of a celebrity's Instagram account.
For this episode, we talk with Jon Nichols, aka @WVUAlphaSoldier and @JohnKirbow, two men trained by the US military in psychological operations and disinformation. We talk with them about current disinformation campaigns, where they come from, how they work and how people can start to understand each other again.
For this episode, we welcome Benjamin Strick, also known as BenDoBrown on Twitter. Ben tells us of an investigation that he published for Bellingcat where he was seeing contrasting information coming from Indonesia during a genocidal event. He began digging in, starting with a Twitter timeline that was publishing videos and eventually got to the source, but not without experiencing death threats for his work along the way.
You can find Ben's writeups here: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/rest-of-world/2019/10/11/investigating-information-operations-in-west-papua-a-digital-forensic-case-study-of-cross-platform-network-analysis/ and here: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2020/11/11/west-papua-new-online-influence-operation-attempts-to-sway-independence-debate/
We welcome Edward Miro to this week's episode. You can find his work on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/MiroLabs or his own site, https://mirolabs.info. In this episode, Edward walks us through his start in the field as he gave a presentation in the Defcon Social Engineering Village to hundreds of attendees, and he talks about social tips he learned as a rideshare driver and also tells us how we can hack our own brain.
Two expert social engineers, Leon (“sho_luv“) Johnson and Shane (“t1d3nio“) Young are assigned to infiltrate a financial institution. In this episode, they tell us how they went on the roof, to the basement, got into the safe and even got some valuable shirts for themselves.
Hakeem Thomas tells us about his start in OSINT, beginning with a Capture the Flag competition where he got a simple, helpful tip that led him in a career direction. He also became the expert at being able to unredact a great deal of hidden information in documents, some of which he'll share with us. You can find Hakeem on Twitter at @S6Vet_Infosec
We get to talk with social engineer and fellow podcaster Jenny Radcliffe as she tells us a couple great stories. The first story is one that she has never told before, and the second one is what she did when on an SE job and faced with a birthday cake, a cat, and an open window. You can see Jenny's work and check out her podcast at https://humanfactorsecurity.co.uk
We have Tigran Terpandjian, also known as Th3CyF0x talking to us about how he also faced the common Catch-22 of needing experience to get a job, but how do you get the experience without a job. He talks about the strategies that he used and gives tips on things others than try too. You can also ask Tigran about his love of foxes and ramen!
This is an interview episode with Billy (@fuzzy_logic) Boatright and Vache (@flying.v) Manoukian. These guys are social engineers and flair bartenders. During this interview, Billy and Vache talk about how quickly the build rapport and some of the tips and tricks they have for winning people over quickly.
Our friend, Inês Narciso talks about how to best use multi-disciplinary teams to be most efficient during OSINT and social engineering investigations. She talks about bringing together specialists to create teams that will better get the needed information.
You can find Ines on Twitter at @IWN_LX and she also presented at the Layer 8 Conference in 2020 on OSINT’s Role Tackling Disinformation In Portuguese Elections
Joshua Richards, is also known as AccessOSINT on twitter and can be found as an administrator on the Searchlight Discord server. Josh was doing a little searching on the dark web one day and found someone looking to sell human body organs. In this episode, he tells us how he used OSINT to discover the identity of the person, and hand that information off to law enforcement officials.
You can read Josh's blog at https://accessosint.com/
For this episode, Shelby Dacko, also known as @ScaryLilHuman tells us how she got started as a social engineer, and also about one engagement where the team was running into roadblocks. That is, until they discovered one path into the server room was through a very narrow trash chute that only a small person could fit through. Shelby fit the bill.
Catch Shelby teaching a course on vishing at the Human Hacking Conference from March 11th to 13th.
MangoPDF, also known as Alex Hope is from Australia. One day, a friend asked him what information can he get from a simple boarding pass. With this, the "Don't Get Arrested" challenge began. What information can one person get from a boarding pass, what kind of legal trouble might it lead to and who might even call your phone. All things Alex found out!
You can follow along with Alex's story on his blog at The Mango.PDF.Zone!
For this episode, we welcome Joe Gray, a senior OSINT specialist at QOMPLX, a frequent public speaker at conferences and trainer of OSINT and social engineering. Joe joins us to tell us how he got into the field and how he got to where he is today. He also tells a second story about a particular phishing engagement where a senior manager built him up as someone who was unstoppable. But was he? Let him tell you how that went.
For this episode, we veer off course again. This time, to talk with Brent White and Tim Roberts from NTT Security and their own site wehackpeople.com. One day, Brent asked on twitter what types of things people would want to know about social engineering and he got some great questions. I asked and he and Tim agreed to answer those questions on this podcast. Let’s hear their answers now.
For this episode, we talk with three expert social engineers from Rapid7. Leon Johnson, Aaron Herndon and Jonathan Stines will tell us about some of the best security they’ve seen, some of the worst, some of the tools they carry on an engagement and how they sleep at night, knowing it is their job to trick people.
For this episode, we welcome Josh Huff, but you might know him as BayWolf88 on Twitter. He is a member of the OSINTCurious Advisory board and runs the web site LearnAllTheThings.net. In his experience doing digital forensics, he learned how to best frame information for those who hired him, which also helps with his OSINT investigations. Plus, he talks about how he dabbles in social engineering!
For this episode, we have another Ask Me Anything treat for you. Today’s guests are four social engineers from TrustedSec. We’ll hear from David Boyd, Paul Koblitz, Scot Berner and Jason Lang. Let's talk about their favorite engagements, some times when things went well, and some engagements that didn’t go so well and how they handle the situation when an engagement goes upside down. We’ll hear of one time when a medical procedure almost went too far and plus some resources on how to get started in social engineering.
For this episode, we welcome Krittika Lalwaney. Krittika is a red teamer on the offensive security team for Capital One. She is a social engineering capture the flag black badge winner at DerbyCon in 2018. She takes us through her career path, where she started, which was not in IT, to eventually joining a SOC, catching a red teamer due to her awareness, all the way to her successes of today. This is a story of one woman’s domination in a male dominated field. Take it away Krittika!
For this episode, we welcome Tracy Z. Maleeff, also known as InfosecSherpa. He has a blog set up at medium.com/@infosecsherpa and a newsletter at nuzzel.com/infosecsherpa. Tracy harkens us back to her presentation from Layer 8 Conference last year titled Lawyers, Guns and Money where she showed us great sources of OSINT research. Today, she gives us even more sources to search and explains how at the heart of it, security is a people problem so let’s also focus on interpersonal communications.
For this episode, we break our format again and interview two OSINT experts, Francesco Poldi and Jason Edison. Also known as @NonePrivacy and @Ding0snax on Twitter. These two are commonly found sharing information on the https://osint.team server. In this “Ask Me Anything” find out their thoughts on an OSINT mindset, some investigations they have dug in to, what gets them excited and how you can also be a better OSINT investigator.
For this episode, we welcome Amanda Berlin of Blumira. She is also the CEO of the non-profit organization Mental Health Hackers, and can be found on twitter at InfoSystir. Today, she tells us about a romance scam where she helped a friend finally understand she was being duped, and explains how these work, plus she’ll tell us a little bit about a fifteen thousand dollar teddy bear.
For this episode, we welcome Derrick Levasseur, winner of Big Brother season 16, host of the Discovery ID tv show Breaking Homicide and the author of the best selling book, Undercover Edge, which helps you find your strengths and gain confidence to win in all situations. Derrick tells us the story about the first time he went undercover as a police officer and the methods he used to quickly gain the trust of a university drug dealer over a few games of pool that eventually led to a bust.
For this episode, we welcome Adam Compton, a pentester and social engineer for TrustedSec. You can also meet TrustedSec at the Layer 8 Conference, and you can find Adam on twitter at Tatanus. Adam talks about the various ways and methods that he was able to successfully test the physical security of a health care facility, using the remnants of a Big Gulp and a ladder in the snow, as well as simply asking for a tour.
For this episode, we welcome Ritu Gill, also known as OSINTTechniques on twitter and at osinttechniques.com. First, Ritu helps us to understand the differences between intelligence and data. Then she takes us through some examples of combinations of OSINT and social engineering. In one such example, she finds a way to get a target to reveal his real name on Facebook. She also tells us about canary tokens and phone spoofing.
For this episode, we welcome Jayson E. Street, VP at SphereNY and will be teaching a two-day course at Blackhat titled “Access Denied - Social Engineering Detection and Incident Response”. Jayson tells us about a huge success for him, getting caught. Physical social engineers are often able to breach a company’s physical defenses, but are we teaching the client how to improve? Jayson proudly tells us about one incredible success story.
For this episode, we welcome Christina Lekati, a social engineer and psychologist for Cyber Risk Gmbh in Switzerland. You can find her on twitter at ChristinaLekati. Christina was tasked with confirming one client’s suspicions that their employee was stealing information from them. In this story, you’ll hear that the target had no idea what was coming for him once Christina got started.
Warning: Some language used is NSFW or children.
For this episode, we break our format. Usually, we have a social engineer or OSINT investigator on to walk us through a great story, a fun engagement or the methodology of an investigation. On this episode, we welcome two extremely accomplished social engineers, Snow and TinkerSec to just chat, answer a few questions, give opinions and recount a lot of fun stories. You can find them on Twitter at @_sn0ww and @TinkerSec.
In this episode, Snow mentions her Full Scope Social Engineering class being taught at BlackHat USA. You can find out more about that class here: https://www.blackhat.com/us-19/training/schedule/index.html#full-scope-social-engineering-and-physical-security-14232
For this episode, we welcome Julie Clegg, the OSINT expert on the United Kingdom-based television show "Hunted". Julie is also putting together OSINT2020, an event where OSINT investigators can come together and talk about the future of investigations. You can find out more at OSINT2020.com. Julie talks with us about her five favorite events that happened on Hunted but you didn’t get to see on television. She talks about various activities by the hunters and some pranks that the hunters and hunted played on each other. You can contact Julie on Twitter at @HuntedJulie
For this episode, we welcome Cat Murdock, a security consultant and social engineer from Guidepoint Security. You can find Cat on Twitter at CatMurd0ck. While most of our episodes are safe for work, this one has a few words mixed in that you might not want children to hear. Cat takes us through some of her social engineering encounters, explains why snacks and bathroom breaks are important and why the names on paperwork are very important.
For this episode, we welcome Nico Dekins, also known as Dutch OSINT Guy and a co-host of the OSINT Curious podcast. You can find Nico on Twitter at Dutch_OSINTGuy. Law enforcement officials in the Netherlands asked him to confirm whether a potential Jihadi’s threats were credible. They only gave him a first name and minimal other information. Find out how Nico went through his methodology to get the confirmation they needed.
For this episode, we welcome Alethe Denis, the founder of Dragonfly Security and the reigning champion of the Defcon social engineering capture the flag competition. This is Alethe’s story of where she came from, how she was always a social engineer from childhood and also how words from Lady Gaga turned her life around. She tells us how we can social engineer ourselves to move in a positive direction.
For this episode, we welcome Keith Cox, a social engineer and pentester from Rapid7. Keith takes us through a recent vishing engagement and he tells us how sometimes you can learn from the initial calls you make to drastically change your pretext and how it worked for him. Keith also describes how he got to flip the script a little and help his mentor fine tune his own social engineering skills.
For this episode, we welcome Kirby Plessas, host of the OSINT curious podcast. She is the founder and CEO of the Plessas Experts Network, found at plessas.net where you can find online training about how to perform OSINT investigations. Kirby tells us how she was able to track down a hacker, simply because someone wished him happy birthday.
For this episode, we welcome Marina Ciavatta, the journalist turned social engineer, from Brazil. Marina describes her first physical social engineering engagement where she will tell us how she successfully bypassed biometrics and how people will willingly give you more information if you just ask.
You can find Marina on Twitter at: @MarinaCiavatta
For this episode, we welcome Wondersmith Rae, a professional OSINT investigator who tells us the story of an online puppy scam. This is a story where pulling on one thread of information seemed to lead down varying paths and exposing additional interesting areas to investigate. She and @Tokyo_v2 also wrote a blog post on Medium.com about her investigation titled “Anatomy of a Puppy Scam, Part 1, Meet Layla” where you can find even more details.
You can find her on twitter at @Wondersmith_Rae
For this episode, we welcome Deveeshree Nayak, an educationalist and information security professional where she tells us about how she was able to find weaknesses in Facebook for gathering information on friends of friends, which eventually led to the company inviting her to Defcon.
You can find Deveeshree on LinkedIn.
For this episode, we welcome Robby Stewart, a social engineer and pentester at Rapid7. Robby tells us about a story that we don’t hear that often from social engineers...failure. He explains why some might consider his test a failure and why some would call it a success.
You can find Robby on Twitter at @RizzyRong.
For this episode, we welcome Robby Stewart, a social engineer and pentester at Rapid7. Robby takes us through the first social engineering engagement and the various decisions he needed to make along the way. He also explains how a good social engineer can really take advantage of people’s assumptions and their trust.
You can find Robby on twitter at @RizzyRong
For this episode, we have Matthias Wilson, also known as MwOsint on twitter and owner of the https://keyfindings.blog site. Matthias is in Germany where the default is to trust no one and privacy is the utmost concern. Matthias takes us through how he was able to combine social engineering and OSINT to find out if a given business address was legit, or something a little more shady.
For this episode, we have Steve Laura, a social engineer and pentester for Blue Cross Blue Shield. On this longer episode, he takes through the recon, the initial access, his thought process along the way and how he dealt with employees on the lookout for a pentester trying to get into their building!
You can find Steve on twitter at Steven1669.
For this episode, we have Katelyn Bowden, CEO of the BADASS Army, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to victims of revenge porn and image abuse. Katelyn tells us about her first experience with OSINT. A personal experience that involved some social engineering to drum up some small town drama and how a machine gun was the one piece of information that got Katelyn the goods.
You can find Katelyn on twitter at BadassBowden.
For this episode, we have Katelyn Bowden, CEO of the BADASS Army, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to victims of revenge porn and image abuse. Katelyn tells us about how her organization works and how her experience with a siren, and how one guy’s desire for Funko Pops ended up being his downfall in the world of trading nude images.
You can find Katelyn on Twitter at BadassBowden.
For our first episode, we have Trevor O’Donnal from Rapid7. Trevor tells us about a particularly difficult social engineering engagement where he needed to engage staff through phone calls. But it was a small company, everyone knows each other and sits near each other. Let’s hear Trevor tell us how he used good reconnaissance to build rapport and get people talking.
You can find Trevor on Twitter at todonnal.