Announcing the 2020 Open Source Award Recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2020

Contact: Paul Atkinson, 973.706.7525, paul@hetheringtongroup.com

The OSMOSIS Institute Board of Advisors Announces 2020 Open Source Award Recipients

(Wanaque, NJ) The OSMOSIS Institute Board of Advisors is pleased to announce the first annual recipients of the OSMOSIS Open Source Awards for the following categories:

 Open Source Intelligence Champion of the Year: Bellingcat Investigation Team

Open Source Technology Innovation of the Year: Voyager Labs

Open Source Diversity Trailblazer of the Year: Thomas Fogle, SafeAbroad

Open Source Rising Star of the Year: Sofia Salazar, Junior at the University of New Haven

Open Source Non-Profit of the Year: National White Collar Crime Center 

The awards will be presented virtually on October 13 at the 6th Annual OSMOSIS Conference, where hundreds of cyber intelligence analysts will gather to learn open source techniques, share skills, and network with some of the most recognized social media and open source experts across the globe.

“The inaugural recipients of the OSMOSIS Open Source Awards are to be commended for their commitment to their intelligence tradecraft,” stated Cynthia Hetherington, founder and president of The OSMOSIS Institute. “As the global community continues to evolve, our awardees are on the frontlines of vital cyber intelligence gathering and global security.”

The Bellingcat Investigation Team is the recipient of the Open Source Intelligence Champion of the Year for their investment in and commitment to open source intelligence solutions and training that have proven distinguished achievements in investigative case work. They have been at the forefront of global OSINT investigations tracking war criminals, crimes against humanity, civil conflicts, and human rights abuses. Bellingcat’s work has helped bring justice to real-world cases, victims, and criminals: After the poisoning of MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March 2018, they have been able to unmask three suspects. Bellingcat has led the OSINT community by leveraging innovative techniques and open sourcing their methodologies ultimately contributing massive amounts of intellectual capital to the OSINT community.

Voyager Labs is the recipient of the Open Source Technology Innovation of the Year for their innovative solutions contributing to increased open source researchers’ workflow efficiencies and effectiveness. A global leader in the AI space, Voyager Labs enables investigators and analysts to acquire actionable, previously unattainable insights by analyzing and understanding massive amounts of open source, unstructured data. Government, law enforcement, and Fortune 500 companies employ Voyager Labs technologies to increase the productivity of their analyst teams, improve the quality of their investigations, and ultimately create a safer world. In the past 12 months, Voyager Labs has rolled out VoyagerDiscover™—a new capability that analyzes not only who the biggest influencers around a given topic are but also looks at those who are the most invested in a given stance. This ability moves the analysis from those who are most engaged online to those who are also heavily engaged offline—the very people who are often the most important to identify and understand.

Thomas Fogle, SafeAbroad, is the recipient of the Open Source Diversity Trailblazer of the Year for serving as a diversity change agent in the field of international education by breaking ground through the use of open source skills and tools while demonstrating a commitment to the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Thomas developed a pro bono OSINT training program for a long-ignored group in the OSINT community: International education professionals. He has equipped international education managers with social media monitoring strategies, real-time OSINT collection tools, and methodologies to be more predictive in detecting emerging risks and trends abroad. Thomas has single-handedly expanded the OSINT community to this untapped group with the ultimate objective of keeping students abroad safe.

Sofia Salazar, a junior in National Security Studies at the University of New Haven, is the recipient of the Open Source Rising Star of the Year for her excellent potential through demonstrated investigative skills and talents and leadership at an early stage in her OSINT career. Sofia is a leader among her peers and has shown extraordinary skills in her open-source intelligence tradecraft. When minutes matter during a crisis, Sofia demonstrated her ability to make rapid decisions about real-time intelligence using a mix of OSINT and SOCMINT tools. Most recently, Sofia was on-shift during the Beirut, Lebanon explosions. Upon initial unverified reports of an incident in Beirut, Sofia rapidly vetted and verified real-time information using social media and open source tools to conduct a rapid risk assessment. Sofia assessed the incident and disseminated a detailed situation report to SafeAbroad’s clients who operate in the region—twenty minutes before the first major U.S. mainstream news-media issued a breaking news alert.

The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) is the recipient of the Open Source Non-Profit of the Year for their visionary open source work, excelling in serving the organization’s mission, and achieving substantial progress toward improving society and human lives. For almost half a century, the NW3C has been training nationwide law enforcement and regulatory agencies in the comprehension, prevention, investigation, and prosecution of economic, and high-tech/cyber-crime. Focusing on the ever-changing landscape of open source intelligence and investigations, NW3C houses the best in class information, investigations, and intelligence gathering by utilizing the newest open source tools and techniques to right the wrongs that criminals perpetrate. With more than 5,000 member agencies in the U.S. and its territories, NW3C offers unparalleled cyber-crime comprehension and investigations courses for law enforcement. In recent years, NW3C has developed three new certifications for professionals seeking expertise within the cyber-crime and economic examinations and investigations arena.

“It is a momentous occasion to recognize the remarkable work and advancements of our Open Source Award recipients,” stated Hetherington. “Today, our global connections demand a commitment to open source intelligence solutions, diversity, talent, and leadership. Our awardees are exemplars of these traits.”

About the OSMOSIS Institute

Founded by Cynthia Hetherington of Hetherington Group in 2015, the OSMOSIS Institute hosts the annual OSMOSIS Conference to educate, inform and protect investigators and analysts within the cybersecurity industry.

Developed by OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) investigators for the legal, law enforcement, investigative journalism, business and accounting community, the OSMOSIS conference brings together some of the world’s most recognized social media and open source investigative trainers into one valuable educational experience. This gathering of experts offers non-stop training on the Dark Web, the latest cellular and desktop social media investigations, open source searching, asset research, and borderless possibilities on the international front, plus the legal implications of this.

To learn more about the OSMOSIS Institute, visit https://www.osmosiscon.com/about-us/

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