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

OSINT Tool Review

Visualising and monitoring Twitter activity in real-time with 'Twitwork'

Visualising and monitoring Twitter activity in real-time with 'Twitwork' Visualising and monitoring Twitter activity in real-time with 'Twitwork' https://github.com/atmoner/TwitWork

As far as OSINT tools for Twitter go, there are several very powerful contenders such as Tinfoleak and Twint. Each has its own visual and analysis capabilities. However, in this OSINT Tool Review, we want to showcase another highly powerful Twitter-focused tool that has its distinct capability and best use case – ‘Twitwork’.

So, what is Twitwork? In short, it is a NodeJS-based tool that provides users with a fresh and minimalistic user interface from where Digital Investigators can visually monitor Twitter activity in real-time. The user interface has a search bar from where the user can input their desired search terms, this can be targeted towards a specific user by using ‘@’, a hashtag ‘#’, or free-text. Once the search is initialised, it will visually show associated tweets, retweets and quoted tweets. Going further, the user can also click on an individual result / node to view the tweet and filter the results by selecting / deselecting the tweet, retweet and quoted tweet toggles.

Installing and deploying Twitwork is very straightforward, users have the option of installing manually via NodeJS, or downloading and installing the pre-compiled executable file. The biggest hurdle facing users is obtaining a Twitter API to use the tool. Considering that Twitter applies a significant level of due diligence towards API requests, it is most certainly the most frustrating task that needs to be undertaken before using the tool. However, once an API has been obtained, configuring Twitwork is very self-explanatory.

During our test, we opted to see how much Twitter activity the tool could support. To do this, we focused the tool against hashtags associated with the coup de-tat in Guinea Conakry; knowing that the event was drawing a high volume of Twitter activity. Overall, the tool ran perfectly and a significantly large volume of tweets was processed without any issues identified. Needless to say, this tool comes with our highest recommendation for Digital Investigators that require the capability to monitor Twitter activity in real-time. However, the tool does have some drawbacks such as the fact that it doesn’t support multiple searches. We certainly believe that having a tabular feature that would enable Digital Investigators to switch between searches would be a huge welcome step. Also, our test of the tool found that it was unable to provide a report-based output; again, we believe that this is most certainly needed.

That said, this tool is very powerful, easy to install and quick to deploy. It can serve a variety of uses for Digital Investigators who require a real-time monitoring and visualisation capability. We can see several best-use cases for this tool such as monitoring the flow of disinformation, hate speech and radical content. As such, this tool comes highly recommended and is considered a must-have for every Digital Investigator’s toolbox.

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