OSINT blog: Reunion in Scotland


The Beer Farmers recently issued a geo-location OSINT challenge with a mystery prize for the first person to find them. Under time pressure, I put my OSINT skills to the test to see how difficult it would be to find them. 

I examined the image closely, looking for any clues. The first thing I think everyone would have immediately noticed was the large greek-style columns behind Mike and Sean. These would come in handy later when roaming the streets on Google Maps. The second thing I noticed was a backwards JD Sports logo (a highstreet clothing brand in the UK). Therefore, I realised the image was flipped horizontally, so I flipped it back:

The task was then to locate which JD Sports this was going to be. Judging by the number of JD Sports shops in the UK, this felt like it was going to take forever. So I had to come up with a way to narrow down my searches.

Full disclosure - I have known Sean and Mike for over a year now through InfoSec Happy Hour and Twitter (still waiting to meet IRL!) so, I do know some facts about them. I know Sean lives in Scotland, Mike lives in Manchester and that BSides Newcastle is on - which I thought they may have been attending (or not - didn't check). I then went and looked at all of the JD Sports at these locations. After checking probably about ~30 JD Sports shops around these locations I finally found on that looked like a match - linked here

Venturing down into Streat View on Google Maps, I was able to confirm that this was the correct JD Sports and this was where Sean and Mike were standing. The columns, the buildings, and other attributes in Street View lined up with the image shared to Twitter - linked here

Lesson here is that, as always, don't post pictures to social media in places you don't want everyone in the world to know where you are. Think: OPSEC.

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