January 11, 2024
We're back with our first CTF of the year! Here you should find everything you need to know about the upcoming CTF.
You can always reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
Date: January 27th, 2024
Time: 22:00 UTC - 0200 UTC (this is 5pm Eastern US time to 9pm US time)
Cost: $20 per contestant
Ticket Purchase: https://tracelabs.org/eventbrite
Registration on Platform (after ticket purchase): https://searchparty.tracelabs.org/register
It's our mission to leverage the power of the Crowd using #OSINT4Good to assist in active missing persons cases. We've striven to create a process and methodology that not only can assist law enforcement with real cases but also introduce people to the field of Open Source Intelligence in a safe and approachable way. To learn more, check out this note from Trace Labs founder Robert Sell. In this letter, Rob does a great job giving background on the organization but also illustrating the balance between competing in a CTF (and likely wanting to win) and staying focused on the actual mission.
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.
Once you have your Eventbrite order code (emailed to you when you bought your ticket) 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:
Before the event, you're expected to watch our recorded Contestant Briefing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYdQIiMzRlI
Before the event, you're expected to have read the Contestant Guide.
Set up and test your sock puppet accounts on major social media platforms.
No. You can compete solo or on a team of up to 4 people.
We've made them as safe as we possibly can. We've put such strict "rules of engagement" in place in order to keep everyone involved safe. We strongly encourage all contestants 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.
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.
Great question. We recommend reading the Contestant Guide, watching our Platform Demo, and viewing previous Contestant Briefings to get a feel for the competition. But a short bullet pointed answer to the question looks like:
The Trace Labs Discord server is where this will happen. In order to see the designated CTF channels you'll need to self-assign the CTF contestant role in Discord. In the top left of the Discord server you'll the button to select roles. From there you can self assign the contestant role.
The Trace Labs Discord server will be the best place to have a group discussion between your team and your coach. In the server, in "Channels & Roles", self assign the "support ticket user" role.
Once you get that role, you will see the support-ticket channel. Inside that channel, you need to issue the following command to create a channel.
-ticket open <ticket name or team name>
Wait for a couple of minutes or so. Once the channel is created, only you and the TL Leadership and Staff members have access to that. You will then need to add your team members and your OSINT Coach by using the following command:
-ticket adduser @username
Once the event is over, please close the channel by using this command:
-ticket close <reason for closing>
New to OSINT? Where to begin?
Trace Labs Podcast: Breadcrumbs by Trace Labs
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
Kase Scenarios Narrative Driven OSINT Training: https://kasescenarios.com/
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