839fc2503083a6d6bff4aebdf87a5e1d?s=47 Tazz
February 25, 2019


Thorough due diligence is a game changer for any organization considering an acquisition, merger, or c-suite hire. It can also be the critical difference between getting a hefty return on an investment versus writing off a loss. In this presentation, we will discuss how organizations should leverage open-source intelligence (OSINT) to identify risks, threats, and opportunities – thereby facilitating well-informed decisions that affect the future of an organization.

The presentation contains (client-approved) categories and (sanitized) findings from OSINT research completed in the last 6 months for a Fortune 300 client, which are used as examples and to facilitate the discussion of the critical-thinking process, and the pivoting path the investigation took.



February 25, 2019


  1. OSINT for Critical Business Decisions RE-DEFINING DUE DILIGENCE

  2. Conversation Schedule  Intro  Bird’s eye view  Business

    decisions OSINT supports  Business decision influencers  Decision making process  Example investigations: “Baggage”  Summary 2
  3. Bird’s Eye View RHEA VS. VULTURE 3

  4. Bird’s Eye View Greater Rhea (w/o OSINT)  Size: 36-60

    inches tall  Flight Height: 0 ft Source: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/greater-rhea Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture (with OSINT)  Size: 33 -38 inches tall  Flight Height: >36,000 ft Source: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/ruppells-griffon-vulture 4
  5. Business Decisions OSINT Supports  Partnerships *  Vendor Selection

    *  Acquisitions *  Mergers *  Key Personnel Hiring  Office Locations Selection  Marketing Strategies 5
  6. Business Decision Influencers  Baggage*  Company Values  Operating

    Costs  Culture Fit  Brand Messaging / Impact  Financials*  Legal Issues*  Market Conditions and Competition  Non-compete Restrictions  Value Creation 6
  7. Decision Making Process: No plan (without OSINT) survives first contact

     Task  Analysis*  Plans – Identify Your Options (i.e. courses of action) *  Table Top Drills – Revise Your Plans  Plan Comparison  Decision  Execution 7
  8. Example Investigation Summary Statements: “Baggage” AVIATION COMPANIES 8

  9. Growth History & Potential  The company’s fleet growth is

    well above average; however, the underlying sources of funding cannot be identified and have indicators suggesting they may be illegitimate [website]  The history of SIC codes indicating expansion and authorized operations does not align to their corporate history as reflected on their website  The recent [aircraft] was purchased to [ensure] the company’s growth, but their air worthiness certificate does not authorize passengers, only freight [newspaper, PDF search] 9
  10. Leadership  The current CEO does not have any prior

    C-suite or executive-level experience [social media]  Current CEO went from being a Sort Coordinator at a shipping company to an aviation company CEO in 8 years, with a 3-year gap in his resume [photos, social media, professional networking site]  One of Acme’s Directors is also a key leader of a competitor [historical conference attendee rosters] 10
  11. Business Records  2012 initial investments establishing Acme Inc. is

    less than $55K; this appears to be extremely low for starting an aviation business [tax records, business filings, records inquiries]  There are no reported additional capital calls reflected in the 13-year history of the parent company or 6-year history of Acme Inc. 11
  12. Financials  The parent company and its two subsidiaries were

    established with an extremely low total investment of $318K  Acme Inc. had the smallest portion ~$53K  After existing less than 3 years and operating for only 2 years, Acme Inc. made an estimated $5M+ investment in customized assets, despite having no capital calls  Benchmark Example: In 1967 Southwest was established with $500K equivalent to $4.2M today (https://www.swamedia.com/pages/1966-to-1971) 12
  13. Community Ties  Photos, conference records, and geospatial evidence indicate

    a longstanding relationship with [Bugs Bunny] Engineering. However, the affiliation is not reported in any public news or on their websites. [Bugs Bunny] Engineering is a significant player in the host nation’s aviation market and this could indicate tensions between the two.  Club Membership Rosters, Property Tax Records, Donation Records, Sports Team Rosters, Chamber of Commerce, Voter Registration, Vehicle Information 13
  14. Technical Risk / Data Protection Practices  Censys.io  Shodan.io

     Pastebins  Domain Tools  Virus Total  Alien Vault OTX 14
  15. Summary  Baggage*  Company Values  Operation Costs 

    Culture Fit  Brand Messaging / Impact  Financials*  Legal Issues*  Market Conditions and Competition  Non-compete Restrictions  Value Creation  Social Media  State, County, Federal Records  Google Dorks  Photos / Geospatial Datasets  “Rate my employer” sites  Independent Bloggers  Website Crawling  Open Source Security Tools  Pastebins / Data Dumps  Academic / Research Data Sets 15
  16. Questions Organization  Twitter: @divineintel  www. Personal  Twitter:

    @GRC_Ninja  Email tazz @  Blog: https:// 16