B-Sides Bloomington


October 9, 2023

Trace Labs will be live at B-Sides Bloomington! In addition to a 4 hour OSINT workshop they'll also be running a Search Party CTF on Saturday. All the details are outlined below along with resources to get you started. Tom will be there for the entire con in a Trace Labs shirt so hit him up with any questions or if you need to settle any scores.


Date: October 14th, 2023

Time: 10:00am to 2:00pm local time

Cost: Free

Attendance Required: Yes. Registration will only be open to in person attendees of the conference

Platform: https://searchparty.tracelabs.org

Registration: https://searchparty.tracelabs.org/register

Training Materials:

Platform Demo

Contestant Briefing

Contestant Guide

Trace Labs OSINT Field Manual


What is a Search Party CTF?

Our Search Party CTFs are non-theoretical CTFs where the "flags" correspond to real pieces of intelligence concerning real missing persons cases. Teams of up to 4 people (or solo is fine to) will be sketching out the online footprint of a real missing person case. Intel is submitted via our CTF platform (linked in the summary above) and vetted in real time by volunteer judges behind the scenes. The process has been gamified to provide structure to the collection process and to reward teams for finding more and more pieces of intelligence. The points don't really matter though, they're just a by product of the process. The end result will be a summarized report for the law enforcement agency handling the case. Ideally, the information we find is useful in their investigation.

The CTF has very strict rules of engagement. We are passively collecting information with no direct interaction with anyone. We recommend you read our Contestant Guide for a more complete overview of the competition and its rules.

How do I sign up for the CTF?

We’re excited to see you all live! Tom will be live at the conference handing out registration codes for anyone interested. Once you have your code in hand it's as simple as getting on https://searchparty.tracelabs.org/register to get set up on the platform.

Please see our training playlist for more information about the CTF platform and how it works:


What do I need to do before the event?

Before the event, you'll need to watch our recorded Contestant Briefing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYdQIiMzRlI

Set up and test your sock puppet accounts on major social media platforms. Tom will be on site to answer any questions as well. He'll be swagged out so shouldn't be hard to miss.

Do I need a team to compete?

No. You can compete solo or on a team of up to 4 people.

Are these events safe?

Yes. We've put such strict "rules of engagement" in place in order to keep everyone involved safe. We strongly encourage everyone to create alternate social media accounts (sock puppet accounts) ahead of the event. As long as you have sock puppet accounts set up and abide by our "passive reconnaissance only" rules this is a very safe activity to engage in.

I'm not a <insert imposter syndrome here> can I still compete?

YES!!!!! The greatest part about OSINT is all you need is curiosity, problem solving skills and a novel way of looking at the world around you. If you have these things and you follow the rules, this can be your first step in to the wide world of intelligence collection and analysis.


New to OSINT? Where to begin?

Trace Labs Workshop at B Sides Bloomington

Trace Labs OSINT Field Manual

Trace Labs Discord: https://tracelabs.org/discord

Trace Labs Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/TraceLabsVideos

A free course on People OSINT from Joe Gray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EePeB9A2ZAk

Google: Seriously. Just type “OSINT” into your search engine and see what pops up. Other helpful search terms could include: “SOCMINT”, “Sock Puppet Account”, “People OSINT” and “Open Source Intelligence”

Github “Awesome OSINT” repo: https://github.com/jivoi/awesome-osint

OSINT resources from _OhShint: https://ohshint.gitbook.io/oh-shint-its-a-blog/

OSINT resources from Belouve: https://github.com/belouve/osint-resource

Resources From OSINT Workshop



Tom Hocker

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