This story starts with a local news story about FlipperZero (if you’re not already familiar, see here.) The anonymous person seen here was warning neighbors about possible use of the device to break into cars. I was interested in speaking more to this individual in order to discuss their findings and meeting a fellow security enthusiast.
I was faced with a challenge: how do I find this individual? Surely the news outlet would not provide me with the name of the individual, but maybe they left some clues in the news story. Let’s take a look.
Here we see a “stock” shot of a house. I doubt the film crew went too far to get this shot. If we look closely we can see two addresses, one on the house, and one on the mailbox.
As we continue to watch, we see a tight shot of a vehicle. This looks like a newer truck of some sort. Not much identifiable information here, but it might be useful.
We see one more “stock” shot of a neighborhood. Some things that pop out; similar architecture to the previous shot, same mailboxes, young trees.
I believe this will be enough information to find our target. Let’s dive in.
We’ll start with the address that was shown in the first picture. Accessing the local county assessor website, I searched all addresses with the same numbers. Digging through the pictures shown, I came across this photo. Compared to the source photo from the news, I see a match for the downspout, the tree, and the window with brick trim. With this confirmed address, I can now get close to where the video was shot.
Using Google maps, I started looking around, and noticed something. That truck looks familiar! Comparing the tight shot from the news, I’m fairly confident we have a match. Now I have another address to look up.
Back to the county assessor website, I find the name of the owner of the house.
Now I have a name and address for my subject. Going to social media, I find a matching profile for someone with an IT background. I take a chance and reach out.
After some direct messages and a little bit of coaxing, I invited the subject to meet me at a local bar. We shared some beers and talked about security.
With a few simple clues, I was able to track down an anonymous security enthusiast featured in a local news story. This highlights the importance of being careful with personal information online. I relied on public records and social media profiles to piece together the identity of the individual, but others may use similar tactics for less honorable purposes. As always, it's essential to be aware of your digital footprint and take steps to safeguard your privacy. This story is a great example of how technology and creativity can be combined to solve a puzzle, and it shows that the internet is not always as anonymous as we may think.
If you are interested in connecting with security enthusiasts like we us, please reach out to email@example.com