Author Archives: Chris J

Chris J

About Chris J

Chris J studies physical and information security. He started the Ann Arbor Chapter of TOOOL, attended Eastern Michigan University got a degree in Applied Information Assurance. Work involves Threat Intelligence.

Building an OSINT box based on Open Source Intelligence Techniques 7th edition.

This is a six-part series covering my experience modifying the instructions to build an Investigation VM from Open Source Intelligence Techniques by Michael Bazzell.

I made the VM to follow along with his online course that I bought last year but haven’t had time to work through. The course was originally built for the Buscador OS, but that distribution is no more.

Part 1: The Install
Installing Xubuntu as a VM

Part 2: Personalization
Configuring the VM to remove applications that leak data, and remove annoyances

Part 3: Configuring Firefox
Setting up Firefox for doing OSINT Investigations

Part 4: Configuring Chrome
Configuring Chrome for OSINT Investigations

Part 5: Setting up Linux Applications
Installing other applications to aid in capturing the information needed for OSINT investigations

Part 6: Finishing Setup
Final setups, and closing thoughts.

Building an OSINT box based on Open Source Intelligence Techniques 7th edition. Part 5, Setting up Linux Applications.

Welcome back. Sorry about the delay, but I wanted to get the post about fixing the NAS posted before I continued. This post has also been sitting waiting for editing for a bit. Picking up where we left off, I’m going to discuss the changes between Michael Bazzell’s book, and my experiences of setting up the system using Xubuntu.

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Raspi-NAS rebuild and data recovery

Shortly after rebuilding my Raspberry NAS last year, it stopped working again. The system wouldn’t boot right, even after changing the micro-SD card with a new build of Raspbian. A few weeks ago, I bought a new Pi 3 b and rebuilt the NAS again. When the system powered on, one of the USB drives wasn’t working. It looked like the file system was corrupt. During attempts to recover the USB drive, it stopped being readable. Both my Windows and Linux computers could see the USB drive, but not the file system, or the data. I re-formatted the disc drive, and it started working fine, it just had no data on it.

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Building an OSINT box based on Open Source Intelligence Techniques 7th edition. Part 4, Configuring Chrome.

Sorry, this was a little late, I spent the last few weeks rebuilding my Raspberry Pi NAS, again. I’ll be doing a write up on that in the near future.

This post is the fourth part of the series building my OSINT VM to do Open Source Intelligence. These are my experiences using a different Xubuntu for my base, compared to Michael Bazzell’s walkthrough in his book, which used Ubuntu.

There are two sections to this posting. Chrome, and TOR. Though I didn’t do much with TOR.

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Building an OSINT box based on Open Source Intelligence Techniques 7th edition. Part 3, Configuring Firefox.

Welcome back to my series of setting up Virtual Machined to do OSINT. I’m setting up an OSINT investigation system based on Michael Bazzell’s 7th Edition OSINT book, but I’m using Xubuntu instead of Ubuntu. Remember, this series is about the differences I found between the walkthrough in the book and setting up my environment on a different Distribution.

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Building an OSINT box based on Open Source Intelligence Techniques 7th edition. Part 2: Personalization.

In this post, I’ll be talking about the personalization steps covering the differences between Michaels’s text and the steps to do the same in Xubuntu. As I stated in the last post, I’m building a new OSINT Investigations VM based on Michael Bazzel’s book. In the previous post, I covered the differences between his book and my choice of using Xubuntu instead of Ubuntu.

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Building an OSINT box based on Open Source Intelligence Techniques 7th edition. Part 1, the Install

In the latest edition of his book, Michael Bazzell has decided to teach OSINT investigators to be self-sufficient when it comes to their tools. Gone is his OSINT powerhouse VM Buscador. Gone are the free tools he used to host. Instead, because things change and disappear, he has decided to teach people to build their own tools.

He uses Ubuntu as the base for the Virtual Machine in the walkthroughs. I didn’t care for Ubuntu, mainly because I’m not too fond of the default desktops. Honestly, I prefer running Debian with XFCE. But for quick installations, I go with Xubuntu. I say quick installs because it usually works out of the box, whereas Debian usually takes me days of tweaking to get it right.

In the past, before his old investigation image, and it’s replacement Buscador, I would build my own VMs based on either Debian or Xubuntu, and replicate the things he had done in his builds. This time around, I decided to build my own Xubuntu image, following his guide for the tools.

Here are the things I had to change to get Xubuntu based system set up.

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Well that was painful upgrading my site to use a new php version

I got an email saying that my site auto-upgraded. I wasn’t happy about it, some of the settings I on the server should have prevented that. But it did the auto-upgrade anyway.

When I logged in, the dashboard said to update to PHP I checked the terminal, since I’m self-hosting, and saw I had the newest available in the repo installed on the server. I had to do testing to find out, no it kept pulling the older version.

I searched around, and all the howto guides were for people using Cpanel or some other hosting tool. They also suggested the PHP text tool. Which I used, and it said all my plugins would work. But the howto guides for hosted accounts past that point wouldn’t work for me though. I’m self-hosted. I finally found a blog post by someone saying what to change, the webserver to point to the right files. So I did.

And the site broke.

The error wasn’t much help, but more searching found I could turn debug on get better information. So I did that. The page was tossing errors. Google those, and found a walkthrough to fix Crayon Syntax Highlighter.

I also had to toss Attack Scanner, which made me sad, but that plugin was shut down in 2017.

And I thought getting Let’s Encrypt fixed a couple of weeks ago was a pain.