Geoanalysis is becoming an increasingly popular tool in the OSINT world, and video footage can provide analysts with invaluable information. The hacking community has long understood the value of video data, and now is the time to deepen our knowledge in this area. Video recordings can tell a lot about location, time, people, as well as about various events. Using geo-analysis and other OSINT techniques, analysts can extract meaningful information from video that may appear uninformative at first glance. On our site, we share the secrets of using video materials for geoanalysis in the context of OSINT. We analyze how to determine the location of an object in a video, as well as how to use various tools for video analysis.
The art of OSINT requires us to constantly evolve and learn new techniques. Geo-analysis of video data opens up new opportunities for the hacking community, allowing to extract more information from each video recording. With this article, each of you can master the art of using video as a powerful tool for OSINT analysis. Don’t miss the opportunity to become even better at your job by expanding the arsenal of tools available to you. Remember: videos tell a lot more than you might think at first glance. With the right approach and use of geoanalysis, OSINT becomes even more powerful. Join us to expand your horizons in the art of hacking and OSINT analysis!
Hey, investigators! Welcome to the third OSINT challenge in my blog series: Deep Geoanalysis with Images. As part of the “Where is it” OSINT challenge, CsabaSzekely7 posted a tweet with a video and the community had to guess the exact location.
Video at the link: https://twitter.com/CsabaSzekely7/status
First, we uploaded the video via https://ssstwitter.com/ . Then they looked for clues. When the video started, we noticed a business center with tall buildings and one building with the “NURNBERGER” logo, it looks like the video was taken on a dashboard camera and there is a bridge.
Then we noticed some European license plates (white and blue) and noticed that the left corner of the license plate had the letter “D” which stands for Deutschland (Germany). In addition, we noticed a white square sign standing in one of its corners. With a yellow square in the middle, common in Europe and means a priority road.
We googled “priority road signs in Europe” and found a Wiki page with a comparison chart of European road signs.
From this we can assume that this video was filmed in a European city, we will try to look deeper into the license plate. Germany does not allow online insurance inquiries by number plate, so we can only guess the country by the number plate format.
We searched for 2 spotted number plates from the video at https://www.ofesauto.es/en , which offers a unique search “Find out the nationality of a vehicle by its number plate”. It is very informative for us. There were three possible matches – Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands. We know from the previous task that the Netherlands has a yellow number plate, just like the UK, so the last option is Germany.
Let’s dive deeper into the license plate format.
You can identify the city/region on the video. We have 3 options: GS, F and OF.
We googled German license plate codes and found several websites that explain each code. https://www.germanplates.com/pages/german-license-plates-codes
GS — Goslar
F — Frankfurt/Main
OF — Offenbach/Main
We searched for these 3 cities in Google Earth Pro. We can see that Frankfurt and Offenbach are close to each other compared to Goslar, which is quite far away. This means that most likely a car with a GS license plate is a visitor or a tourist from one of these cities, and the other two license plates are local.
We can see that Frankfurt and Offenbach are about 7 km apart.
So, based on these findings, let’s focus on a bigger city — Frankfurt. Let’s go back to the building we saw in the video, the building with the big “NURNBERGER” logo.
We did a reverse image search through TinEye and found nothing.
So we used smallseotools.com/reverse-image-search/ , which offers reverse image searches on various search engines (Bing and Google). Nothing was found on Bing.
Against all odds, Google Lens managed to find similar images.
TripAdvisor tipped us off that it was in Frankfurt, but I couldn’t find that particular skyscraper.
So we used a famous tool called “ VirtualGlobetrotting ” @VirtualGlobe on Twitter.
Virtual Globetrotting (VGT) is an atlas of the best satellite, aerial and street imagery from around the world, submitted by community members via Google Maps and Bing Maps. Here is the site — virtualglobetrotting.com/
State – City outside the US – Frankfurt am Main Country – Germany (DE) Category – Buildings: Skyscrapers.
Potential match found. https://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/frankfurt-skyline/ We uploaded the KML file to test it in Google Earth Pro.
BINGO! We have a match.
Another great website we could use to search is alamy.com. Alamy is an online provider of stock images, videos and other graphic materials. Their content comes from agencies and independent photographers, or is compiled from news archives, museums, national collections, and public domain content copied from Wikimedia Commons.
Some YouTube channels shoot POV driving videos from their dash cams and post them. We searched for “Frankfurt Drive” on YouTube and found 2 videos filmed in Frankfurt. One of them is the original video that CsabaSzekely7 (Where Is This) OSINT challenge posted in X. (5:45)
In today’s digital age, being able to pinpoint the exact location of a place just from a picture or video found online is an incredibly valuable skill. This skill is not only about having the right tools, but also about understanding how to use them creatively and effectively. In today’s blog post, I detailed my unique approach to OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) investigations. What sets this method apart is its reliance solely on publicly available sources, which is both a challenge and a testament to its effectiveness.
As a practical example, we used a short video published in X. Through careful research, observation and a bit of detective work, we were able to determine the exact geographical coordinates of the location depicted in the video. This may seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategy and a keen eye for detail, it is quite doable.
In summary, although numerous tools and techniques are available for such investigations, the primary key to success lies in one’s ability to think outside the box. Each researcher may have his own set of tools, but the main thing is resourcefulness, persistence and an innovative approach. The digital world is huge, but with the right thinking and skills, even in its spaces you can navigate with precision.