Reverse Engineering Identity

Finding Anonymous Persons Online Using Deep Insight

The Situation Was Bad For This Company

Our Deep Insight methodology enables us to glean insights from digital copy all across the web, but in this particular instance, our team was fascinated by the prospect of being able to reverse engineer authorship of a derogatory letter that was sent to one of our clients based on the psychographic profile of the author we would need to build and test against a list of his political enemies.

How We Gleaned Intel From This Letter

The situation first started for our client when he was trying to make headway in his industry from a legislative standpoint and push new measures that would open up and legitimize their business across the state of Georgia, and perhaps the nation at a later date. While working with us in a public relations standpoint, this client was made aware of a derogatory and anonymous letter that was published to their entire industry. This letter had a very good chance of negatively impacting the career of our client and affecting their company’s ability to do business. However, since the letter was published anonymously, and since no one was coming forward to claim that they had singled out and tarnished the reputation of our client, we were asked if we could use our Deep Insight tools to help.
After receiving an original copy of the letter we proceeded to run a psychographic profile using its contents and then set out to create a “author fingerprint” based on how the author had constructed their sentences, the tonality in which they set out their thoughts, and even how and where they use punctuation.
Equally, we subdivided the profile by tonality and how likely the person was to be risk-tolerant or risk-averse, trusting versus skeptical, optimistic versus pragmatic, forceful versus accommodating, supporting or dominant, and deliberate versus being fast-paced. Then having built this digital fingerprint we acquired a list of our clients business and political adversaries and using those individuals’ social media profiles, and some emails we were handed, we were able to build similar digital fingerprints for each of those people based on how they conducted themselves online and the way in which they wrote and constructed thoughts.
Then after an initial review of everyone we were sent we are able to conclude that none of them had written the letter so our team further set out to find other potential authors who shared motive, access, and willingness.

The Conclusion For Our Client

After a few days of research, we are able to find the author and even found evidence of who likely edited the final draft of the letter and presented both names to our client for review and follow on actions, and while repercussions were handled behind closed doors, it’s both gratifying and very interesting to know how our behaviors and conduct online can be used in a systematic way to find out where else we are present and active in the digital landscape.

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