OSINT Investigations: People

Class Description

This course, taught by a member of the winning team at the DEFCON 28 OSINT Search party, is designed to hone specifically in on the processes and tools used to perform “People OSINT” in situations where investigators are seeking to find missing people, some of which do not want to be found. This focuses on validating the information discovered and using it to pivot to valuable information, in both a CTF setting (such as Trace Labs’ CTFs –https://www.tracelabs.org/getinvolved/ctf/) and law enforcement.

This course is approved by TraceLabs:

This course has evolved from a 4-hour course to a 6-hour course, and now to an 8-hour course. This LIVE Missing Persons OSINT course, approved by TraceLabs seeks to prepare OSINT enthusiasts and private investigators for techniques used to find missing people.

In brief, this course covers the following:

  • Social Media
  • OSINT Processes and Cycles
  • TraceLabs categories
  • Case Studies
  • A simulated CTF where the class collaboratively works to try to find an actual missing person (The primary reason that this course is not ever recorded)

Upcoming Offerings (All times EST)


Schedule Appointment


  • March and April dates are TBD

Schedule Appointment


Prerequisites are hosted within the Student Resources section of the OSINTion Wiki. Prior to the course, please register for an account on Discord Here then use Discord to create an account on the Wiki.

While this course will discuss a couple of tools, there is no need for any virtual machines, API Keys, or tools before the course. While some Linux and Scripting ability will help students, most of the techniques can be performed from a browser.

What You Will Learn

In this 8-hour class, you will learn:

  • The fundamental basics of OSINT
  • The basis of People OSINT
    • Positive Uses
    • Negative Uses
  • Information relative to the “OSINT Heartbeat” in terms of expanding, collecting, synthesizing, and contracting based on intelligence:
    • Friends
    • Employers
    • Family
    • Home Life
    • Basic Information about the subject
    • Advanced Information about the subject
    • Information about the day last seen and circumstances
    • Current location of the subject
  • People OSINT tools and resources
  • Social media
  • EXIF and Reverse Image search tools
  • Insight from the perspective of a judge and a competitor
  • Collaboration Strategies
  • Labs to help grasp the concepts.

At the end of the course, you will participate in a Mini-CTF to apply the concepts you’ve learned in a collaborative and fun environment.

What People Are Saying About the Course




You may have heard the old saying: "Everyone wants to do OSINT until it's time to go do OSINT stuff". If that's not a saying, it should be. On the surface, Open Source Intelligence gathering sounds fun and super cool.

Picture this: You're sitting alone in your apartment. Lights dimmed. The glow from your laptop illuminates a face framed by a black hooded sweatshirt. Soon, secrets will reveal themselves to you. Truths never meant to be known. Fingers rest on your keyboard. You exhale. And begin typing in Google...."

And that's about as far as most people get on their OSINT journey.

OSINT collection is hard and is even harder to get started in when you have no idea where to begin. This is where Joe's Introduction to People OSINT course comes in.






Who Is This Class For?

This class is for anyone from an absolute beginner in OSINT and Missing person investigations all the way up to seasoned law enforcement and beyond.


This course is normally $200, but in partnership with TraceLabs, use coupon code: TraceLabs15 for 15% off and The OSINTion will also donate an additional 15% of your course registration to TraceLabs.

Pre-Purchase your 2021 OSINTion Training Here

Schedule Appointment

Schedule Private Training Here

Schedule Appointment

Alternate Payment Methods

Information about using alternative payment methods can be found here.

Continuing Education & Employer Relations

Information about getting certificates, badges, or invoices for CPEs/CEUs/etc. and employer reimbursement can be found here.

Class Offerings

This class, in addition to all others, can be viewed on the calendar here.

About Joe and The OSINTion

The OSINTion is an online and onsite Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) training provider based in the US. The Principal Instructor, Joe Gray, is a recognized expert in OSINT and other relevant topics in information security. Joe’s passionate and common sense approach to OSINT is easy to comprehend and natural for students to follow along. By day, Joe is a Senior OSINT Specialist with a firm in the US.

Competitively, Joe has placed in the following competitions involving OSINT:

  • 3rd place in the NOLACon OSINT CTF in 2018 (as a member of the Password Inspection Agency)
  • 3rd place in the NOLACon OSINT CTF in 2019 (as a member of the Password Inspection Agency)
  • 2nd place in the BSides Atlanta OSINT CTF in 2019 (as a member of the Password Inspection Agency)
  • 1st place in the DerbyCon Social Engineering Capture the Flag (SECTF) in 2017
  • 4th place in the DerbyCon OSINT CTF in 2019
  • 2nd place in the Hackfest (Quebec) Missing Persons CTF powered by TraceLabs in 2019 (as a member of the Password Inspection Agency)
  • 2nd place in the Hackfest (Quebec) Social Engineering Capture the Flag (SECTF) in 2019
  • 2nd place in the TraceLabs Global Missing Persons CTF V (as a member of the Password Inspection Agency)
  • 1st place in the TraceLabs Global OSINT Search Party at DEFCON 28 (as a member of the Password Inspection Agency)