When it comes to OSINT investigations, surveillance, and other searches, the use of a sock puppet account(s) is a critical part of protecting yourself and not arousing suspicion.
So what is a sock puppet anyway?
A sock puppet can also be referred to as a burner account.
Though “sock puppet” is more widely referenced. This is a type of account that we create that isn't associated with us. Typically, we would build a sock puppet using a different email address, name, location, and password, and in some cases, we would use a profile picture that is not ours. The complexity of our particular sock puppet would depend on our unique needs.
For example, if we were investigating a malicious hacking forum that is located in BC, we wouldn’t want to use our email account to register an account there, especially if we were located in California. Not employing a sock puppet would 1. show that we do not live in another country and 2. allow a would-be attacker to easily identify us.
However, if we created a sock puppet account with a unique name and email password, generated a fake background for this user, and used a VPN to place us in BC, then we would be able to blend in much more efficiently and help protect our identity.
To make a believable sock puppet account, we can also employ services such as a Data Fake Generator (https://datafakegenerator.com/generador.php), This Person Does Not Exist (https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/), and 20-minute Mail (https://www.20minutemail.com/) to help speed up the process and add an extra layer of credibility to our accounts.
About the Author
OSINT practitioner, IT Professional, ethical hacker, Indy Game dev
Trained in CEH8 and CEH9, CISP, Metasploit certified, Accredited Configuration Engineer (ACE), MCSI OSINT Practitioner, MCSI OSINT Practitioner, and CWA certified. Over 22 years of experience in the IT industry. Online instructor for OSINT, ethical hacking, and network security. Has contracted courses for EC-Council and has written articles for Hakin9 and eForensics magazine.
His latest course: OSINT: Open-Source Intelligence: For hackers, investigators, and everyone else
His latest article: eForensics Magazine
To contact the author: [email protected]