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Image OSINT Tutorial – Exif, Metadata, Reverse Image & Geolocation

The internet is making the world a much smaller place over the period, allowing millions of users throughout the globe to interact and share digital information, ushering the rest of the world into the ‘digital world.’

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) in the digital world describes all the public data you can access and view.

Images are also incredibly helpful in an OSINT investigation since they can reveal what a target seems like, where the target has been, or any devices that were used.

Researchers can utilize pics to create the intelligence image, discover equipment used to capture photographs, determine where and when photos were taken, and determine if a social media profile relates to a target utilizing search engines and free resources.

This article is a list of tools and tips. It will show you how to look for, obtain, extract, and analyze digital photos.

Basic Image Search

For the basic image search, we have several search engines like Google, Yandex, TinEye, Baidu, etc.

Gettyimages, and Reuters Pictures are places to look for news or stock photos. Try Instagram, Flickr, or Pinterest for pictures posted on social media.

Let’s try some search engines to see what we can do with an image or discover.

Google Image Search Engine

So, I took the random image and upload it on Google search. The search engine showed several similar images and gave the result of the websites having similar pictures.

Figure 1 Google Image Search Engine

Yandex Image Search

So, Yandex is almost similar to Google Image search but with extra features. So, first, upload the image, and as a result, it will give similar images. But also give you all image sizes; It will also show the websites having information about that image. You can also select the image area to crop and search specifically for that.

Yandex Image

Figure 2 Yandex Image Search

Advance Image Search

Discover Image Metadata and Location

There are tons of websites and tools available to help us recover the data of an image. Some of which are:

Exif Tool (Kali Linux)

You can install the EXIF tool from the Git repository in Kali Linux. It helps to recover all the metadata related to the image like its image location, creation date, device from which the pic is taken, and so on.

All you need to do is, write the command “exif ImageLocation” on the Kali Linux terminal.

Meta Data

Figure 3 Meta Data of Image

GSP Location

Figure 4 GPS location Meta Data

Web-Based Exif Tool

We can retrieve metadata not only using Kali Linux but also with websites. There are several websites to retrieve image metadata, and one of them is metapicz. You can check the device name, its model number, image creation time, and so on.

Web-Based Exif Tool

Figure 5 Web-based EXIF tool

Detect Image Alterations

Two of the websites which can help you to detect image alterations are:

Forensically and FotoForensics is a collection of online digital image forensics tools. It includes Clone identification, error level analysis, metadata retrieval, and other features.

Detect Image Alterations

Figure 6 Forensically Image Forensic

FotoForensics Image Forensic

Figure 7 FotoForensics Image Forensic

Conclusion

This article explored the different tools and websites to get image-related publically available data. We saw some vital search engines like Google and Yandex. Then tried some advanced tools on Kali Linux, such as ExifTool. We also tried web-based tools like metapicz, fotoforensics, etc.

 

Sana Qazi
Sana Qazi is a technical writer specialized in Information Security. She enjoys writing about technology and reading multiple genres like suspense. When not writing, she can be found traveling, dinning out, watching series etc. She manages her medium blog as well.

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