Searchlight — IMINT: TryHackMe Writeup

OSINT challenges in the imagery intelligence category. You can access the room through this link: https://tryhackme.com/room/searchlightosint

Hi everyone, I am Mrinal Prakash aka EMPHAY and today I would take you to the walkthrough of the room “SearchLight” on TryHackme which is a beginner friendly room. In this room we will be exploring the discipline of IMINT/GEOINT, which is short for Image intelligence and geospatial intelligence. This room is suited for those of you who are just beginning your OSINT journey or those brand new to the field of IMINT/GEOINT.

TASK 1: Welcome to the Searchlight IMINT room!

  1. Did you understand the flag format?
    sl{ready}

TASK 2: Your first challenge!

Download the attached image and answer the question below — good luck!
As it is seen in the image this reads down to “Welcome to Carnaby Street”

  1. What is the name of the street where this image was taken?
    sl{carnaby street}

TASK 3: Just Google it!

Let me introduce you to your first tool, Google! If you see anything in the image that can be extracted into a keyword, phrase, a company name, telephone number or any other question you may have as a result of scanning the image up and down: GOOGLE IT!

  1. Which city is the tube station located in?
    sl{london}
  2. Which tube station do these stairs lead to?
    sl{piccadilly circus}
  3. Which year did this station open?
    sl{1906}
  4. How many platforms are there in this station?
    sl{4}

TASK 4: Keep at it!

Scan the image for data and remember the questions from the introduction — Do you see anything in the image that can be used in a search query or help you narrow down the potential location?

  1. Which building is this photo taken in?
    sl{vancouver international airport}
  2. Which country is this building located in?
    sl{canada}
  3. Which city is this building located in?
    sl{vancouver}

TASK 5: Coffee and a light lunch

A friend of mine contacted me asking if I could help them locate a coffee shop that is supposed to serve the best lunch there is. They told me the coffee shop is somewhere in Scotland, and he sent me these two pictures. Do you think you could locate it and answer the questions below for me?

I googled map edinburg woollen mall and then found wee coffee shop in the left of it

  1. Which city is this coffee shop located in?
    sl{blairgowrie}
  2. Which street is this coffee shop located in?
    sl{allan street}
  3. What is their phone number?
    sl{+447878 839128}
  4. What is their email address?
    sl{theweecoffeeshop@aol.com}
  5. What is the surname of the owners?
    sl{cochrane}

TASK 6: Reverse your thinking

One of the methods for geolocating an image is to do an image reverse search. This means that we are searching for the image itself online, and if the image has been indexed by search engines we may find the exact image or we can do a visual search or crop search to help us find similar images.

  1. Which restaurant was this picture taken at?
    sl{katz’s deli}
  2. What is the name of the Bon Appétit editor that worked 24 hours at this restaurant?
    sl{andrew knowlton}

TASK 7: Locate this sculpture

This challenge will require you to apply some the techniques I have touched on so far: Scanning the image for visual clues, reverse image searching and Google dorking. Tools should not be your primary focus — don’t underestimate how far you can get with dorking and scrolling search results.

  1. What is the name of this statue?
    sl{rudolph the chrome nosed reindeer}
  2. Who took this image?
    sl{kjersti stensrud}

TASK 8: …and justice for all

This challenge is a step up in difficulty from the previous challenges and you shouldn’t expect to solve this quickly, especially if you are new to IMINT. While you can certainly apply the techniques and tools you’ve used to s far, this challenge may force you to revise your thinking and your approach while you’re working on solving this challenge.

I highly recommend watching this Ted talk by Amy Herman on visual intelligence — “A lesson on looking” if you want a unique view on how you perceive visual data.

  1. What is the name of the character that the statue depicts?
    sl{lady justice}
  2. where is this statue located?
    sl{alexandria, virginia}
  3. What is the name of the building opposite from this statue?
    sl{the westin alexandria old town}

TASK 9: The view from my hotel room

Geolocating videos aren’t much different from geolocating images. A video is just a string of images, usually played at 24 frames(or images) per second. In other words, a video will hold a whole lot more images that can be analyzed, reversed and scrutinized by you.

Here’s a good writeup by Nixintel on a tool called FFmpeg, which will help you extract the key images from the video that you may need to solve this challenge. Download the attached video and follow Nixintel’s guide!

  1. What is the name of the hotel that my friend is staying in?
    sl{novotel singapore clarke quay}

Hope you all enjoyed going through this walkthrough. If you like my article clap for me and do follow me as well. Till then goodbye and Happy Hacking.

Hacker || Student || CTF Player || Coder || Editor at A&M Publications

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