Doing OSINT and Twitter Analytics with Tinfoleak

Twitter Open Source Intelligence

Twitter is a great source for conducting open source intelligence. One of my favorite tools is Tweetsniff from Xavier Mertens. It will grab a Twitter user timeline for further processing, for example in Elasticsearch.

Another tool that I recently discovered is Tinfoleak. Tinfoleak is build for Twitter intelligence analysis and provides you with an HTML file output.

I wanted to use Tinfoleak to build profiles of users to tune targeted phishing campaigns (spear phishing) for a penetration test. For automated campaigns it would be easier if Tinfoleak can export to CSV but this engagement required a lot of manual labour anyway, so converting the HTML file to useful data for the campaign was not a big problem.

A big advantage of Tinfoleak is that it is easily available via a binary package in the Kali package repository.

apt-get install tinfoleak

A warning though : the package in the repository is an older (v2.1) version. The Github repository provides you version v2.4. I used the older, binary, package for this post.

Tinfoleak options

Tinfoleak comes with a lot of options to retrieve -public- information from a Twitter account. Below are the most important ones.

                        analyze TWEETS_NUMBER tweets (default: 200)
  -i, --info            get general information about the user
  -s, --sources         get the client applications used to publish every
                        get the last FOLLOWERS_NUMBER followers for the user
                        get the last FRIENDS_NUMBER friends for the user
                        get the top WORDS_NUMBER most used words
  --conv                get user conversations
  --sdate SDATE         filter the results with SDATE as start date (format:
  --edate EDATE         filter the results with EDATE as end date (format:
  --stime STIME         filter the results with STIME as start time (format:
  --etime ETIME         filter the results with ETIME as end time (format:
  --hashtags            get information about hashtags
  --mentions            get information about user mentions
  --likes LIKES_NUMBER  get information about the last LIKES_NUMBER favorites
  --meta                get metadata information from user images
  --media [D]           [no value]: show user images and videos, [D]: download
                        user images to "username" directory
  --social              identify user identities in social networks
  --geo FILE            get geolocation information and generates an output
                        FILE (KML format)
  --top NUMBER          get top NUMBER locations visited by the user

Use cases for Tinfoleak

I find the options for listing the client applications used to publish tweet, the top words used and the top hashtags the most interesting information to profile a Twitter user.

For example if you see that the client application has a high percentage for “Twitter via web” then you might attempt phishing attempts to lure the user into accessing a fake site impersonating

Additionally the top words and hashtags show the content that is relevant to the user, this is good information for creating targeted phishing campaigns.

Note that for properly profiling a user you can use two approaches:

  • Globally, see what’s of most interest to a user in general;
  • Specific period, see what topic is currently most trending for a user.

The latter option can be included in Tinfoleak by filtering on date but in general it’s more interesting to focus on global information and not limit yourself to specific information on one time-period.

Testing Tinfoleak

I first ran Tinfoleak on my own Twitter account with these options

tinfoleak -u cudeso --tweets 1000 --social --meta --mentions --hashtags --info --sources  -o cudeso.html --likes 100 --words 100 --friends 100 --followers 100

This will generate an HTML file. Note that the output states that the file is in /usr/share/tinfoleak/ but this is not correct. You can find the HTML file in your user home directory. The output of the file is the following

  _______ _        __      _            _
 |__   __(_)      / _|    | |          | |
    | |   _ _ __ | |_ ___ | | ___  __ _| | __
    | |  | | '_ \|  _/ _ \| |/ _ \/ _` | |/ /
    | |  | | | | | || (_) | |  __/ (_| |   <
    |_|  |_|_| |_|_| \___/|_|\___|\__,_|_|\_\

    Tinfoleak v2.1 [SHA2017 Edition] - "Get intelligence from Twitter"
    Vicente Aguilera Diaz. @VAguileraDiaz
    Internet Security Auditors

    Looking info for @cudeso:

        Getting account information...

        Executing operations...
        1000 tweets analyzed

        Getting followers...
        100/100 users analyzed

        Output file: /usr/share/tinfoleak/cudeso/followers-20180419/cudeso_followers.txt

        Getting friends...
        100/100 users analyzed

        Output file: /usr/share/tinfoleak/cudeso/friends-20180419/cudeso_friends.txt

        Getting favorites...
        33/100 tweets analyzed

        Generating report...

    Your HTML report: /usr/share/tinfoleak/Output_Reports/cudeso.html

    Elapsed time: 00:02:38

See you soon!

Output of Tinfoleak

This is a sample of the information contained in the HTML file.

General account information

Client applications and social networks

Used hashtags

Words most used


Similar to Facebook, people put a lot of information on Twitter that can be used in Phishing campaigns. Tinfoleak also provides the possibility to analyze the

  • Last location visited. This returns a KML file that can for example be opened with Google Earth to track the visited locations of a user. It’s not included in this post because I (try to) limit my public location visits.
  • Friends & Favorites. This is great information to kick-off a phishing campaign. Impersonating as a friend or someone the user “follows” increases the success-rate.

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