Interview session with Maltego

Maltego is an open source intelligence tool that enhance correlation and connection of evidence about an entity. It was developed by Paterva, from Pretoria, South Africa. Maltego is a distinct, sharp and wonderful intelligence aggregator as it has capacity to scrap the web for different useful artifacts and connect it to an entity. An entity can be a website, email address, phone number and even cryptocurrency wallet addresses.

In commemoration of World Cyber Awareness Month, which is October, I was featured as the second woman in OSINT. Below is my interview session

Tell us about yourself: when and why did you start in OSINT?

My name is Oloyede Olajumoke Elizabeth, a Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst with expertise in OSINT and HUMINT. I am also a trainer and researcher. I started using OSINT during my first job role as a Threat Intelligence analyst in 2019 due to non provision of tools to work with and because it is free.It was a project that involved intelligence gathering towards understanding Nigeria’s cybercrime ecosystem with no tools to work with. I learnt and gained vast experience with different tools within a period of 3 months. It was an intense time of learning which was worth it

What is SheSecures? What is your involvement?

SheSecures Africa is an online community for African women in cybersecurity. Part of its aim is to help, train, mentor and collaborate with other women professionals from entry level to executives. It is an equal refuge platform for all kinds of cybersecurity professional challenges. I must confess it is a troubleshooting ground. SheSecures Africa also shares opportunities such as job, training, webinar, certifications to mention but few. I am a recipient of the benevolence of other professional guides, and I am a giver of such to newbies in the field.

What has your career been like, where and when did you start?

Cybersecurity as a career is an exciting path as there are more things to learn new day. I Started fully in 2018 immediately after the one-year mandatory service to my country Nigeria. Searched for jobs but got no matching skills. I started developing myself with the help of Mr. Moyosore Mobolaji, the founder of DIGISS LLC who gave me access to his $750 course which I couldn’t afford then. He helped me and added me to his team where we carried out a national project in 2019. I am ever grateful to him. The project helped me to acquire the foundational skills I have developed today.

Where do you see yourself going?

I see myself as a leading and globally recognized female Cyber Security Consultant in Threat Intelligence Analysis, Incident Response and Forensics. I also see myself collaborating with great minds on cybersecurity research and imparting my knowledge globally through training.

As a woman, what is your experience in a man-dominated field?

The ratio of men to women in technology is gradually increasing according to statista.com with an average of 25%, this may be due to employment opportunities, wages, career opportunities and perception at the workplace. Cybersecurity is not an exception and yet while it is dominated by male, I have worked with fellow male counterparts and have done exceptionally well. Gender disparity has spurred me to join a female community, I must say it is Hard Work. In Africa, cybersecurity, some experts like Funke Opeke (MD/CEO of MainOne), Confidence Stanveley (MD/CEO Cybersafe Foundation), Judy Ngure (Female hacker), Sophina Kio — Lawson (co-founder SheSecures) and Simbiat Oyiza — all amazing women, inspire me to be the best version through their contributions to women in STEM across Africa. I have been on different projects where I performed excellently well as the only female, projects such as intelligence gathering and training.

Do you have any tips for women that are starting in OSINT?

To any woman starting in OSINT, Start by learning on YouTube, you can subscribe to channels like OSINT curious, cyber mentor, get your hands dirty with tools such as Maltego, osint.sh, join discord channel such as Threat hunter community, on twitter follow people like Bushido, and participate in OSINT challenges like Bushido CTF, trace labs etc. join groups that can help you like SheSecures Africa, volunteer with groups like cybersafe foundation write about your works and experiences and be ready to learn every time as learning doesn’t finish once you are still breathing.

How do you use Maltego for your investigations?

Starting out in real field work in 2019, I discovered there are many tools that help to gather intelligence but few help to collate and connect them together to make good decisions. One of the few is Maltego. One of the best times I have had with Maltego was in 2019 when I was trailing a threat actor that was purporting to be a legitimate blogger. I had different information on him via many OSINT tools and was yet to pinpoint how the information is connected to him. I had so much information that was not connected and I felt this threat actor is not connected to any of them. I got to know about Maltego through a male colleague and watched a couple of tutorials on it. I used it and Maltego helped to link the scattered information together. It connected all his information together and I was amazed. Since that time, I have always used Maltego as it eases my investigation and saves me time and energy. Maltego is one of my best arsenals!

What is like for a highly skilled woman in Africa, and specifically in the tech industry?

Mentorship was a major challenge I faced while grooming my skills, although I feel it is better now than before at the time, no one was ready to groom a newbie, so learning alone was boring. Another challenge I faced was the certification requirement for entry level. As much as I understand its importance, I feel that for entry level jobs, it shouldn’t be mandatory; passion, conducive working environment and commitment is key to growth. Internet connectivity was another challenge I faced during my first year in skill development because I came from a family where the internet was a luxury. I am a strong advocate for free internet access in Africa especially in rural areas. In Africa, for a highly skilled woman, it is easy to soar if only she networks with the right set of people as competition is high. The right network gives the right recommendation even without your consent. Africa is growing, women in tech are also growing so competition is heating up therefore it is advisable to have the right network.