Trace Labs is a new project where hackers compete to find missing people.
It all started when Rob Sell, a professional search and rescue tracker who also worked in computer security, became frustrated at how nobody was looking for many of the thousands of missing people. He decided to found Trace Labs, a project which uses crowdsourcing to enlist the efforts of hackers worldwide to find them. They select missing persons cases and then award hackers points for finding information on the missing people, creating a computer forensics competition for a cause. One great opportunity is going to hacking conferences like BSIDES and DEFCON and holding events where hackers there try their hand at finding the whereabouts of missing people. It’s part of a new movement towards OSINT, or Open Source Intelligence. The primary tool is searching online and using the dark web for digital fingerprints – pictures, activity, or other digital fingerprints. When successful, hackers can find information the families and law enforcement have never had before – helping their quest to track down the person, or even finding them directly.