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Use & Abuse of Personal Information: An OSINT Tool supporting Multi-Domain Academic Research

Workshop, Wednesday, April 10

Man speaking and presenting in front of people at a seminar

Use & Abuse (U&A) is a student-designed cybersecurity program designed to investigate the nature of the spam communications we receive on a daily basis. The tools developed and implemented by our student groups have much further-ranging applications than simply combatting spam. Using the open-source intelligent (OSINT) collection engine, we have attempted to answer academic research questions ranging from identifying predatory academic publishing practices to predicting political race outcomes, all while helping students develop their cybersecurity skills in an experiential research setting!

Workshop details

Date: Wednesday, April 10
Time: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: Suite 1032, 1311 Research Center Drive, Blacksburg VA

In this small workshop, we will demonstrate how U&A operates, from the creation of fake online profiles (fakeIDs) which pass superficial scrutiny to the online signup and collection/analysis of spam emails, voicemails, SMS text messages, and physical mail (30 minutes). We will also walk through the experimental design of prior semesters’ projects led by students supported by the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative in 2023-24 (30 minutes). Lastly, we will invite YOU to join us in a roundtable discussion to help generate the next series of experiments for U&A (30-60 minutes).

Light breakfast will be provided to those who RSVP, so please mark your calendars and join us!