OSINT has been used in many types of investigations but is often not leveraged for counter-proliferation investigations, which is the illegal export of goods or weapons to sanctioned countries, regimes, or people. This talk will identify tools and techniques that can be used to investigate these types of illicit activities and will illustrate their usage through case studies. Of particular note, we will discuss how private military companies are being deployed by sanctioned regimes and how these groups gain access to arms. We will also describe how dual-use goods are being exported from the US to sanctioned countries. Through a series of case studies, you will learn how to profile individuals, identify front companies, and track the illegal transportation of goods using open-source tools. The primary focus for governments has been on the illegal importation of goods, while not enough attention has been given to the illegal exportation of goods and services, which is detrimental to our national security.

Learning Objectives

  • Learning about the scope of counter-proliferation and threats to national security
  • Using OSINT to track illegal exports
  • Effectively teaching OSINT techniques in the classroom


Dr. Darren Hayes is the Founder and Director of the Pace University Digital Forensics Research Lab. He is also an Associate Professor at Pace in New York. Hayes has been listed as one of the Top 10 Computer Forensics Professors, by Forensics Colleges. He has served as a visiting professor at Sapienza University, Rome, Italy, University College Dublin, and New York University. Hayes is an accomplished author with numerous peer-reviewed publications on digital forensics, threat intelligence, and cybersecurity. In late 2020, he published the second edition of “A Practical Guide to Digital Forensics Investigations” and his fifth book in 2022, “CISSP Certification Guide”. He has served as a subject matter expert for both criminal and civil investigations and has been declared an expert witness in federal court. He has also conducted OSINT training for law enforcement agencies both domestically and internationally.