UPDATE: WITH THE EXCEPTION OF KARMA DECAY, THE TOOLS LISTED IN THIS ARTICLE TO HELP WITH YOUR INVESTIGATIONS ON REDDIT NO LONGER WORK. HOWEVER IF YOU DO COME ACROSS ANY INTERESTING REDDIT TOOLS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT https://bsquaredintel.com/contact/
Your OSINT investigation led you to Reddit. To help you answer the questions you’ve been asked to find, here are three types of tools to have for your Reddit OSINT tool set.
Before we begin, for the uninitiated, let’s help you familiarize yourself with Reddit and give you a definition of OSINT.
Reddit is a mix of online forum, social media platform, and news aggregator. Each interest group is called a subreddit, or sub, for short.
OSINT stands for Open Source Intelligence. It’s the collection, analysis, and exploitation of publicly available information. Sources include things like search engine results, online forums, some types government documents, and places like public libraries.
Now, let’s explore.
If you’re sticking to the Reddit ecosystem, you’ll want a tool to get you started with your research.
For a no frills search tool, check out Cama’s Reddit Search [https://camas.unddit.com/ ]. We like this tool for it’s simplicity and ease of use. You can search by Author(read Reddit username), subreddit, posts or comments, post score, date range, and search term. We find documentation lacking because we discovered that you can restrict the search results to multiple subreddits by separating each one with a comma. For example if you want to limit your search query of “OSINT” to the subreddits OSINT and Hacking you would enter it in the “Subreddit” field as “osint,hacking” without the quotation marks. Each subreddit is separated by a comma. We only found this out by playing around with the next search tool.
If you’re looking for something with a little more features, check out redditsearch.io [https://www.redditsearch.io] by pushshift.io
redditsearch.io has the same features as Cama’s Reddit Search, in addition to search results returning articles from a specific domain name. Some of the functions are hit or miss, such as the “Aggregations, “Statisitcs,” and “DataViz” selectors. In the “Utilities” section there’s an “User Analyzer” and “Subreddit Suggestions” fields which don’t quite work and aren’t explained well in the “Help” section.
Lastly, for searches you can also dork to your heart’s content using your search engine of choice. If you want to search a subreddit, the dork looks like “site:reddit.com/r/[insert subreddit name] + keyword/username”, but without the quotation marks.
Let’s talk about another useful tool set when it comes to searching images.
Reverse Image Search
Again, sticking solely to exploring Reddit, Karma Decay[http://karmadecay.com/] is an image search tool that looks to see where photos were published to different subreddits. It’s helpful to see where the images were reposted and may lead you to some interesting results.
You can either upload an image, copy/paste a reddit URL, or use a browser plugin that includes Karma Decay to conduct your reverse image search. One thing that might frustrate you is it may take a while to process the image, so don’t expect Google Image Search like speed.
Now let’s switch gears and talk about looking for deleted posts.
Finding deleted posts for anything is helpful for an OSINT investigation in a couple of ways. First, you may find juicy info and more pivot points to explore. Lastly, if you’re law enforcement, a journalist, or you’re assisting an attorney in a legal matter, deleted posts may be a wealth of information for you. The person under investigation may have attempted to hide an incriminating post they published on Reddit and may provide more leads to follow.
Our criteria for a tool used to find deleted posts must include someway to indicate what you’re looking at was removed.
The gold standard of this used to be Ceddit because it would show user deleted posts. With Ceddit no longer working, the next best bet is Reveddit [https://www.reveddit.com/]. There is a caveat though. The deleted posts you discover using this tool come from subreddit moderators who removed something a user published for whatever reason.
The search function is very simple. You can search by username, by subreddit (query format = r/[subreddit name]), by link, or by domain name.
As a last ditch effort to look for deleted posts you can use the Wayback Machine or Google Cache. One of the things you’ll have to deal with, if you have to show deleted comments, is you’ll have to manually compare the Reddit post and the snapshot to locate the deltas.
This search tool of sorts is limited to what you can look for. The options are “Search For A User,” “Search The Front Page,” and “Search A Subreddit.”
Things you might find useful with this tool
You’ll be able to see profile information, if searching by username, along with subreddits they belong to, words they frequently use, and posts they’ve made.
If searching the front page, Redective will show information about subreddits, along with word frequency and posts.
When you search by subreddit, detailed information is provided about the sub itself as well as the other kind of information we’ve already mentioned.
There’s also a filter function on the page to explore.
One thing to keep in mind is tools will come and go. If you’re reading this article and these tools no longer work let us know so we can update the content.
Reach out and have a conversation with us whether it’s about this article or if your organization needs our help.
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Updates to article:
- 5/6/2022: The original Cama’s Reddit Search tool was disabled on GitHub. Changed link to reflect where you can find a mirror of it.