OSINT Toolbox Talk: Investigating email addresses, usernames and WhatsApp groups

OSINT Tool Review

Extracting Instagram user content and associated data with 'Insta-Extract'

Extracting Instagram user content and associated data with 'Insta-Extract' Extracting Instagram user content and associated data with 'Insta-Extract' https://github.com/JavideSs/insta-extract

There is a wide range of tools and scripts that can enable digital investigators to extract user content from Instagram profiles, the capabilities of such scripts vary considerably. However, in this OSINT Tool Review, we will showcase ‘Insta-Extract’ a lightweight Python-based script that provides an all-encompassed range of capabilities including:

  • Extracting user information
    • User ID
    • Username
    • Name
    • Profile image URL
    • Biography
    • External URL
    • Private or public profile check
    • Business or personal account check
    • Follower and following user count
    • Business email, phone number and category name check
    • Most used tags and mentions
  • Extracting media content including images and videos
  • Extracting media content information
    • Image/video URL
    • ID
    • Accessibility check
    • Media type
    • Media content dimensions
  • Extracting post information
    • Timestamp
    • Date and time of upload
    • Like metrics
    • Comment disabled/enable check
    • Comment metrics
    • Location data
    • Post caption
  • Extracting and comparing follower and following data

We tested Insta-Extract extensively, and we were very impressed with its capabilities. Installation of the script is very easy as it does not require any prerequisite modules to be installed. The only main prerequisite needed is an active Instagram account and login information. Quite simply, the script can be downloaded directly from its Github repository and deployed straightaway.

However, we do see probable issues with regard to the long-term potential of Insta-Extract. The main issue in this regard is the fact that Instagram is very proactive in implementing changes to deter OSINT-focused scripts from extracting information from user profiles. Another issue that we identified is that the developers responsible for Insta-Extract have yet to address Instagram’s rate-limiting safeguards. Nevertheless, the developers have pointed out that this script remains in development, and we are confident that it will soon look at ways to bypass Instagram’s rate-limiting mechanisms.

Issues aside, Insta-Extract is very, very impressive when taking into account that it is lightweight, quick to install, easy to deploy and highly effective with regards to extracting user data. Having tested several Instagram-focused OSINT tools in the past, we do believe that Insta-Extract has far superior capabilities and is most certainly better composed with regards to installation and deployment. Overall, Insta-Extract comes highly recommended for Digital Investigators and OSINT’ers who require a quick and easy means to extract media, information and post data from Instagram profiles.

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