This article is the second of a two-part series on Doxing. The first article can be found here.
Doxing is essentially gathering sensitive information about a target that they generally wouldn't want or expect disclosed. These details include everything from their name, email address, ZIP code, and even home and work addresses. This article demonstrates some techniques to gather intelligence about a specific target using various online resources., The collected information can be used against the target in different scenarios.
The following demonstrates an example of doxing:
Case ONE: Get the IP address of the target through tracking links
- Get the IP address of a target. To get the IP address of a target, a free online service can be used. Go to https://iplogger.org and select the option "Invisible image" (see Figure 1).
- In the next screen, IPLogger displays the tracking dashboard where one can customize a tracking link and view the URL used to display the tracking results (see Figure 2).
- Send the tracking link to the target. Deceive the target by inserting the tracking link inside an email message or send it via a social media message (e.g., Facebook chat).
- Once the recipient clicks the tracking URL, go back to the IP logger website and access the URL used for viewing statistics. The target IP address should appear here (see Figure 3).
Case TWO: Get the IP address of the target by investigating email message header (If there is a previous email communication with the target)
If your target has messaged you, you can get the IP from checking the email source. To do so for Gmail accounts, follow these steps:
- Open the sender's message in Gmail and click on "Show Original." Now search for 'Received' within the code (see Figure 4 & 5) and copy the IPV4 address of the sender's device. Make sure to start reading the email source from bottom to top.
- With a target IP address on hand, go to https://www.ipaddress.com/ and enter it to gain insights into records, such as WHOIS information. (see Figure 6). This resource provides information, such as the area, postal division, state, nation, ISP, and working framework. Take note of these details and continue onward.
Figure 6 - Find IP address information using https://www.ipaddress.com
Important note when looking for the sender IP address on Gmail header
Gmail doesn't include the sender's IP address when the sender sends his/her email using the Gmail web interface (via web browsers). Nevertheless, Gmail may include the sender IP address if he/she uses an email client to send the message such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, or when using the Gmail mobile application installed on iPhone and Android devices to send that email.
- Now, to find target public posts on Twitter, use the @ operator. Here's an example: @someone (this will retrieve all tweets that reference the 'someone' account).
- One can search for all instances where this username is used by knowing one of the target social media profile usernames. The following two services can be used for this purpose.
- To search within social media sites, use the symbol @ followed by a social media name; then enter a colon in the search query. For example, enter @facebook:Someone Name to search for the term "Someone Name" within Facebook).
- To locate the target email address (if their name is known), enclose the target name with quotation marks. For example, enter "FirstName Lastname."
- A personal picture can be used for a reverse image search. Simply go to Google Reverse Image Search and either paste the image URL in the search box or upload it to Google (see Figure 7).
- People search engines are similar to typical search engines. They index online content but focus on personal details and store the results in huge databases to return information upon request. Search for a target using his/her full name, email address, or mailing address using any of the following people search engines:
- Search for additional information using public records. Public records consist of information that has been—mostly—produced by government entities and is meant to be non-confidential. There are many public records repositories, such as:
Doxing is the act of searching publicly available sources to find information (especially personally-identifying information) about a specific target. Open-source intelligence methods and techniques can be used to find such information by searching within government records, social media platforms, and any place where data is accessible publicly.