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How to Track Someone's Geographical Location using ExifTool

How to Track Geographical Location using ExifTool (OSINT)

Hello Readers

Nowadays , As you are aware that we all are attached to social media in such a way that it has now become a most addictive medium and trend for all of the end users who are connected to Internet for social networking websites like Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn , Instagram , Snapchat , Myspace etc especially and a major channel of Communication , Data Transfer such as Videos , Photos etc , Online Gaming , Newsfeed , Domain Knowledge , Video/Voice Calling etc

As new technologies are emerging , Social Media is also becoming the target of new cyber attacks such as Phishing , Scamming and Spamming , Spoofing and Sniffing , ClickJacking and Identity Theft , Cyber-bullying , Distributed Denial of Service attacks , Malware Attacks and Tracking of Geographical Location , Data Theft and Loss of Online Privacy etc

Nowadays , Cyber Criminals , Cyber Security Researchers , Analyst , Intelligence Agencies and Forensic Investigators are too advanced and sophisticated that they can easily track down your location anywhere within few minutes without your awareness about it using either automated software or manually

So Today , I'm going to demonstrate such an advanced tool by the name of ExifTool which is basically one of the free open source intelligence tool used to edit , read and manipulate the metadata of images/videos/audios/pdf/ with cross platform capability , integrated into various digital workflows and supports many kind of metadata including Exif , IPTC , XMP , JFIF , GeoTIFF , ICC Profile , Photoshop IRB , FlashPix , AFCP and ID3 etc

Before Demonstration , I'd like to explain briefly about "Exif" ( Exchangeable Image File Format )

Exif stands for Exchangeable Image File Format is a standard that specifies the formats for image , sound used by digital cameras (including smartphones) , scanners and other systems that handle such image and video files recorded by digital cameras. It allows you to store certain information within your photos like date , time , camera settings like shutter speed , focal length and copyright information etc which can be useful when you are reviewing your pictures.

There are various ways through which you can view your EXIF data easily such as :

  • 1. Windows -->  Right-click on an image , select "Properties" and switch to the "Details" tab.
  • 2.  Linux --> Right-click on an image and choose "Properties". Depending upon the file manager you are currently using you may need to switch to different tab
  • 3. Mac OS X --> Right-click on the picture, click "Get Info" , expand the "More Info" section

Metadata can be easily viewed through Browser Plugins and Viewers

  • 1. Firefox Add-ons --> https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/exif-viewer/
  • 2. Chrome Extension --> https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/exif-viewer/nafpfdcmppffipmhcpkbplhkoiekndck?hl=en
  • 3. http://www.verexif.com/

There are few essential prerequisites tools needed to be downloaded too before it

  • 1. Linux (as i'm going to demonstrate it on Linux OS)
  • 2. ExifTool

Are you ready to track Geographical Location using ExifTool (OSINT)

So , Let's Get Started

  • 1. Open up your Terminal
  • 2. Type "wget https://excellmedia.dl.sourceforge.net/project/exiftool/Image-ExifTool-10.68.tar.gz"

  • 3. Type "tar -xzvf Image-ExifTool-10.68.tar.gz" for extracting the comprised file

  • 4.  Type "perl Makefile.pl" (The Makefile.PL is a simple program which loads ExtUtils::MakeMaker and runs the WriteMakefile() function to generate a Makefile)
  • 5.  Type "make" , "make test" and "make install"  for installing the available and required modules 
  • Make is basically a *nix command for the development of executable programs and libraries from the source code. It's applicable to any process that involves the execution of arbitrary commands to transform source code to target result.
  • 6.  Type "exiftool image.png" in order to get metadata of your image

  • 7. You can retrieve your image metadata with following GPS Coordinates along
  • 8. Hence , In this case you can easily track someone's geographical location easily using                ExifTool

How can you prevent from Geo-tagging 

You can prevent a specific kind of metadata like GPS location from being captured as follows :

  • 1. Switching off wireless and GPS location (under location services) and mobile data                      (this can be found under data manager -> data delivery).
  • 2. When taking a photo, make sure that the settings of the tag-location from the photo app is off
  • 3.  Stripping off your personal metadata from Windows Explorer
  • 4.  Stripping off through GIMP 
  • 5.  Using ExifEraser available on Google Play

I hope you can now easily track someone's geographical location using ExifTool (OSINT)
and strip off your personal metadata from your files also

Thank you

Happy Hacking
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