Helping find missing people. Neotas finishes in top 10 again

On Sunday 18th October a team from Neotas took part in another Global OSINT Capture the Flag competition organised by Trace Labs. The competition was organised in order to raise money for the National Child Protection Task Force.  

The event is a challenging test of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) skills which is designed to determine which team is most effective in using OSINT data to achieve a specific outcome. In this case, each team were assigned several real-life missing person cases and tasked with finding any information which may be useful in locating these people. 

The cases that were assigned to each team were mostly cold cases which had very little, or no, information known. As a result, it was extremely challenging, but, as any information that was found would be handed on to law enforcement agencies, the stakes were high.

In terms of the competition itself, points were awarded for any pieces of actionable intelligence that were uncovered. The quantity of points awarded were directly linked to the value of the data that was uncovered. 

Catch the flag

The competition put us up against the leaders in the OSINT community, people with decades of experience in intelligence, cybersecurity and law enforcement. Within the first hour and a half “Dos Pintos”, the team from Neotas, was already within the top 10 teams. Big points were scored when we submitted intelligence that revealed activities of two missing persons after the date they were last seen. This was a really good start.  

By the end of the six-hour event we had secured 8th place out of over 120 teams. This was our third top-10 finish in six OSINT Catch the Flag competitions and an incredible achievement for all involved. To place so highly among our most skilled peers is a real testament to the quality of the OSINT skills and techniques that the analyst team at Neotas has developed.  

We would like to say a big thank you to Trace Labs for organising another incredible CTF. It was an excellent challenge as always, made all the more rewarding by being able to contribute to real missing persons investigations. We eagerly await the next one!

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